McLaren turns the corner, posts first profits

Published: 04 June 2014

McLaren Automotive today announced it had broken even for the first time in its brief three-year history, posting a £4.5 million pre-tax profit in 2013. It's great news for the young supercar brand, which until now has lost money every year.

McLaren's turnover was £285m, up from £267 in 2012, as it increased production towards its long-term goal of 4000 cars a year.

How many cars did McLaren sell in 2013?

According to the company's results issued today, McLaren Automotive sold 1359 of the 12C and 36 P1s last year. The company has vowed it will not make more than 375 P1s in total and said the entire production run sold out within six months of being announced.

But Woking continues to invest heavily in the next generation of sports cars, increasing its R&D spend by £2.5m to £71m in 2013.

A large chunk of that is being spent on the new junior McLaren coming in 2015, codenamed P13 and aimed squarely at the Porsche 911 Turbo brigade. Think of a lower-output 650S and you're not far from the truth.

The P13 will use the same carbonfibre tub and V8 engine, but pared-back with less power and rich technology. CAR understands a price tag around the £125,000 mark is likely.

As part of the company results announced today, McLaren said in a statement: 'P13 will be a comfortable, usable, and beautiful mid-engined two seater sportscar, built around a carbon fibre chassis. It will be available in more than one derivative and once fully on sale, McLaren Automotive’s total annual production will increase to around 4000 units per year.'

The CEO on McLaren Automotive's 2013 results

Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive, said: 'McLaren Automotive has already developed a deserved reputation for producing the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced high performance sports cars. But these results demonstrate that we have also established a profitable long term business, which is able to invest heavily in R&D, recruit the best people and ultimately create world-class products. In a highly competitive market, we have laid solid foundations for future success.

'We are now focusing upon the road ahead. The McLaren 650S is already selling extremely well with over 1000 orders received and P13 is a very exciting project, which will help us to access new markets and customers, grow our sales volumes and ultimately increase both revenue and profitability. I am confident that by maintaining our commitment to innovation and excellence McLaren Automotive has an extremely bright future.'

McLaren forecasts that 2014 sales will remain flat, but that turnover and profits will increase thanks to sales of the pricey P1 hypercar.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet