McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for an image gallery
How many low-production exotic supercars have we had to gaze at longingly from across the ocean? The prohibitively high cost of homologation for the U.S. market has kept more than a few niche automakers away. Even the mighty McLaren F1 had to be brought in through loopholes, with considerable delays, costs and modifications. But the new McLaren MP4-12C won't follow the same path, as the racing outfit's nascent road car division has revealed its strategy for worldwide distribution, and North America is figuring large in its plans.
The company has just announced the appointment of regional managers for both North America and Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, taking its worldwide distribution by the horns. McLaren North America will be based in the New York area and will be headed by one Anthony Joseph, a former regional manager for Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati, whose first task will be the establishment of ten dealer franchises in the United States and Canada. Of course, McLaren first needs to begin production of the MP4-12C, its initial new offering, with sales projected to begin in the spring of 2011. Details in the press release after the jump.
McLaren Automotive announces Regional Directors for North America and Europe
* McLaren Automotive global network takes shape with appointments of European and North American regional directors
* Anthony Joseph to head up McLaren Automotive North America
* Christian Marti to head up McLaren Automotive Europe
* Joseph and Marti join Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director Middle East and Africa, in McLaren Automotive global network
Following the recent unveiling of the new McLaren MP4-12C, the first in the company's range of high performance sports cars, McLaren Automotive can now confirm two senior appointments within its global operations.
Anthony Joseph joins the company as Regional Director of North America and Christian Marti as Regional Director of Europe. In preparation for the global launch of the 12C in 2011 they are joining the previously appointed Regional Director of Middle East and Africa, Ian Gorsuch, to begin building a global retail network, and sales and marketing teams for each region.
McLaren North America will be based in the New York tri-state area and McLaren Europe will be based within the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, UK.
Joseph and Marti's teams will contribute to a global sales, marketing and aftersales network challenged with setting new standards for service in the performance car sector, whilst ensuring that McLaren Automotive's quality and performance goals are transferred throughout their regions.
Joseph will develop a team to support an initial network of up to 10 dedicated McLaren franchises in the USA and Canada. Marti's team will initially work with up to 15 retailers in Europe.
With vast experience in the performance car retail and wholesale business, Joseph said of his appointment: "This is such an amazing opportunity to be part of the launch of not just a brand new range of high-tech sports cars, but the launch of a new car company in a region which will be a major market for McLaren Automotive. Utilising our engineering expertise and racing heritage, we will build cars using nothing but McLaren components, in lower numbers, and higher quality than our competitors. This ensures exclusivity, which I'm sure will be a major factor in generating strong demand and ongoing high residual values from 2011.
"We are initially working to locate and establish a select group of retail partners to best serve our customer base and represent McLaren Automotive going forward. There has been significant enthusiasm from a number of existing luxury car retailers throughout North America, and our first challenge is finding those who really buy-in to our evolving business aspirations."
Marti, who complements Joseph with his experience of launching premium brand automotive organisations in new markets, said of his appointment: "It is a wonderful chance to be a part of a new organisation launching such an exciting and ground-breaking car. With McLaren's racing pedigree well known and appreciated across Europe, coupled with the passion amongst automotive aficionados for the McLaren F1, I feel that this will ensure a growing demand for the McLaren range in the region.
"Starting a business from scratch is such a unique opportunity, and to have the flexibility to focus our attentions on what is best for the business gives us an immediate competitive advantage. By working to recruit a relatively small retail network I am looking to uphold the McLaren philosophy - 'everything for a reason', by ensuring that our customers get the best service possible, and that they get nothing but pure McLaren."
Both Joseph and Marti will report into Antony Sheriff, Managing Director of McLaren Automotive, based at the company's global headquarters, the McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, UK.
Sheriff said of the appointments: "I am really pleased that Tony and Christian have joined us. Not only are we driven to launch the best sports cars in the world, but we are passionate about doing that in a new way that focuses attention on the customer. Tony and Christian immediately bought into that ethos and will push forward this attitude through their sales and marketing networks. Their respective skills will add to our global operation and this is a fundamental aspect of how we work - we are a team and want our regional people and our customers to be part of that team."
Notes to editors
* Anthony Joseph biography: Bachelor Degree in Business from Western Michigan University. Began in the automotive industry with Subaru of America in the mid 90's as a District Sales Manager. In 1998 he joined Porsche North America as a Regional Manager. In early 2002 Anthony left Porsche to manage a Porsche Dealership in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania providing him with retail experience. In Mid-2003 he moved to New York to join Ferrari - Maserati North America focused on Maserati's re-establishment in North America. Anthony moved to Ferrari North America and became North America Sales Director when Ferrari and Maserati separated. In June 2009 he joined McLaren and became the North America Regional Director of McLaren Automotive.
* Christian Marti biography: Studied Management Engineering and gained an MBA in International Business Management. Christian began his career in the automotive industry as a Product Manager at BMW in 1993, moving to Renault to become Product Director in 1999. In 2002, Christian left Renault to deliver the merger of Jaguar & Land Rover Austria. Over the next six years Christian held a number of Managing Director positions at Jaguar Land Rover, including recruiting and establishing a team and office in China. In 2008, he became the first CEO of Porsche Cars Canada before joining McLaren Automotive as Head of Europe in 2009.
* The McLaren MP4-12C was launched on Sept 9, 2009. It is the first in a range of high performance sports cars that McLaren Automotive will design, build and sell from spring 2011. The 12C uses revolutionary technology and Formula 1-inspired processes that introduce new levels of performance to the 'core' market segment of sports cars between £125,000 and £175,000.