When you hear “McLaren” mentioned during Formula One races, do you sometimes want one? Now you can. Street legal. And a steal for only $280,000 MSRP. To make that dream possible, McLaren group has taken on £40 million ($63m) worth of loans from HSBC to finance the construction of a new factory in Woking, Surrey. The new factory will be the home of McLaren’s new super car, the MP4-12C (catchy name!). McLaren is forecasting to build 1,000 units in the first year of production, but within five years, McLaren is hoping to be building 4,000 units per year. One of the main selling points of the MP4-12C is the fact it’ll be able to get to 124mph in 10 seconds. It even has air brakes, implements usually used to bring jet fighters to a stop.
However, what makes this an interesting story is the level of debt McLaren has taken on. According to The Independent, McLaren has been a relatively debt free entity. Their F1 team brought in 64 percent of the group’s £264.9m ($419m) revenue for 2008. Since 2005, McLaren owed practically nothing.
To take £40m on for a new factory to make a new super car sounds a bit risky. However, McLaren Automotive (the company which was spun out of the McLaren group) is boxing clever to reduce their exposure. McLaren automotive is offering a 48 percent stake in itself to private investors and when you take into account that McLaren automotive is backed by Ron Dennis (McLaren bigwig), a Bahraini sovereign wealth fund and the TAG group of Switzerland, then there’s a good chance there will be a lot of faith in McLaren automotive.