Mclaren cuts to the chase

Bri­tish luxo-sports brand de­liv­ers $100,000 dis­count

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CAR NEWS - PAUL GOVER

price cuts by Rolls-Royce and Porsche in the past six months.

Other pres­tige brands, in­clud­ing Mercedes-Benz, say they are com­pen­sat­ing their cus­tomers by adding equip­ment and try­ing to re­duce show­room stick­ers when they in­tro­duce all-new mod­els.

But McLaren says it’s all about the bot­tom line.

‘‘ McLaren be­lieves the su­per-lux­ury sports car seg­ment has been his­tor­i­cally over­priced in Aus­tralia, with a num­ber of the ‘ core’ man­u­fac­tur­ers em­ploy­ing pre­mium-pric­ing poli­cies,’’ says McLaren Au­to­mo­tive Asia- Pa­cific di­rec­tor Ian Gor­such.

Many up­scale brands have been rak­ing in big prof­its from the strength of the Aus­tralian dol­lar, though they say they also have to build busi­nesses that can cope with in­evitable down­turns in ex­change rates.

Even com­pa­nies such as Holden are us­ing prof­its on im­ports to off­set their losses in lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing.

But lots of lux­ury cus­tomers are pay­ing well be­low the show­room stick­ers and McLaren says this dis­count­ing has prompted its new move.

‘‘ McLaren’s re­vised pric­ing re­flects the chang­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of cus­tomers in this cat­e­gory in Aus­tralia,’’ Gor­such says. ‘‘ Many. . . have be­come ac­cus­tomed to pay­ing sig­nif­i­cantly less than the ad­ver­tised rec­om­mended re­tail price, as com­peti­tors in the cat­e­gory heav­ily dis­count.’’

McLaren has been strug­gling for trac­tion in Aus­tralia and has been un­der-achiev­ing glob­ally on sales tar­gets, de­spite its bullish plans for a full range of cars — in­clud­ing the new P1 su­per­car — to go head-to-head with Fer­rari. Only seven of its MP4-12Cs have been de­liv­ered this year.

Fer­rari’s run­ning to­tal for 2013 is 34 cars and eight in April. Lam­borgh­ini has tal­lied 30 with six last month.

Fer­rari Aus­tralia has six con­firmed or­ders for the LaFer­rari, de­spite the $1.5 mil­lion-plus price and the fact it is left-hand drive and can’t be driven on lo­cal roads.

McLaren re­duces the 12C coupe from $492,100 to $398,000 and the 12C Spi­der from $543,900 to $441,780. The cuts will be passed on, in­di­rectly, to 12C own­ers who move on to an­other McLaren, as a spe­cial trade-in al­lowance.

Fast and furious dis­count: McLaren’s MP4-12C Spi­der

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