Jul 11, 2012
(Manama, Bahrain, 11th July 2012) – McLaren Automotive, the British high performance sports car manufacturer and its retail partner for Bahrain, Al Ghassan Motors, have confirmed they are to build the McLaren Manama showroom at the foot of the landmark Bahrain World Trade Centre.
Scheduled to open in the Autumn, this will be the first time an automotive company has located a retail outlet in the heart of the Kingdom’s capital. The high-profile location and architecture displays both companies’ commitment to the Bahrain market, and further strengthens the McLaren sports car business in the Middle East following a successful first full six months of McLaren MP4-12C sports car sales that has seen McLaren out-perform all of its key rivals.
McLaren Manama reinforces McLaren’s Middle East business plans
McLaren Manama will be part of the Moda Mall luxury shopping complex and will see the brand’s first premium high-performance sports car, the 12C, sit alongside the world’s most exclusive fashion, restaurant and jewellery brands. McLaren Manama will complete the initial Middle East retail network of six McLaren dealerships.
McLaren Automotive’s Regional Director for Middle East and Africa, Mark Harrison said: “Confirming this exciting new McLaren showroom in Manama is the exciting conclusion to a very successful first full six months of business for our new sports car brand in the Middle East. There is both a passion for premium sports cars and motor racing in the Kingdom of Bahrain, therefore we have no doubt that the 12Cs unique combination of road-car brilliance and race-track inspiration is perfect for this market.
“As part of our launch into the Middle East, we invited prospective customers to test the 12C to its limits at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir. That experience showed perfectly what a McLaren aims to deliver on the road: genuine Formula 1 technology transfer, a belief that the resulting high-performance should be accessible to all, and a never before achieved level of comfort and practicality at over 600 horsepower. The result is a very special car that will be presented in Manama from a very special location in the Autumn.”
Commenting on his plans for McLaren Manama, Al Ghassan Motors President and CEO, Sheikh Ghassan A H. Sulaiman said: “Al Ghassan Motors is proud to be representing McLaren in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The showroom will, I believe, be a new landmark in Manama, and reflects our commitment to McLaren and sports car fans from the region. Al Ghassan Motors has ambitious plans for growth in the region and, with McLaren’s support for the Middle East, we have a great partnership that will be the foundation of a strong McLaren business in Bahrain.”
The showroom has been designed to be visually dramatic and visible from the city’s main thoroughfare, the King Faisal Highway. It will provide fans and customers with a unique location in the heart of the city where they can see the latest McLaren models, including the revised 616hp 12C Coupe and the recently announced 12C Spider version, alongside a genuine Formula 1 car.
The ‘glass box’ design style for McLaren Manama will ensure it is a genuine ‘jewel in the crown’ for McLaren in the Middle East, and a new landmark in Bahrain, where Mumtalakat, McLaren Automotive’s principal shareholder, is located.
Harrison concluded: “The opening of McLaren Manama will conclude the first stage of our automotive business strategy in the Middle East; a region that is vital to McLaren’s high-performance sports car business. The enthusiasm for luxury and performance cars in the region, combined with our plan to offer exceptional customer service and breathtaking innovation in our cars, will be tested to the full in Bahrain. We intend to deliver to the full!”
On track for performance, too
But being part of a Formula 1 team means that McLaren enjoys mixing business with pleasure. McLaren Automotive’s successful introduction into the region’s performance car market follows a recent visit to the Bahrain International Circuit by Chief Test Driver and McLaren GT3 racer, Chris Goodwin. A short film has been released to demonstrate how the Formula 1-inspired technology featured in the 12C is applied at Sakhir, the Middle East’s first Formula 1 circuit; this can be viewed and embedded at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln0JBbh0rLg
In McLaren’s latest ‘Perfect Line’ video, Chris Goodwin describes the unique and innovative Formula 1 technology that has been adapted and transferred to the 12C, to help make it the world’s fastest and most efficient high performance sports car in its segment: The ‘Proactive Chassis Control’ suspension system that allows drivers to switch between ultimate track performance and optimum road comfort; ‘Brake Steer, the Formula 1 technology banned in 1997 which brakes the inside rear wheel to deliver ultra high speed cornering; and adaptive aerodynamics via the ‘Air Brake’ which increases stability under braking.
The 12C Coupe and Spider, and the future range of McLaren high-performance sports cars, are hand-built at the stunning new £50m McLaren Production Centre in the UK, on the same site as McLaren’s Formula 1 headquarters. No other sports car brand has the luxury of this permanent flow of road car and Formula 1 technology and process integration.
In addition to the showroom in Manama, Bahrain, McLaren Automotive has already opened showrooms in Abu Dhabi and Dubai (Al Habtoor Motors), Kuwait (Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive), Jeddah (Al Ghassan Motors). McLaren Doha (Al Wajba Establishment) is due to open soon. A service centre in Lebanon (Saad & Trad Sal) is planned for summer 2012.
Image 1: The stunning new showroom will be visible from the main highway and is the first automotive brand to have a showroom in such a prestigious location.
Image 2: The new McLaren 12C Spider
Notes to editors:
McLaren Automotive is an independent company, chaired by Ron Dennis, and based at the McLaren Technology Centre, the McLaren Group’s headquarters in Surrey. McLaren Automotive has a rich and seamless heritage in producing premium sports cars for the road: the McLaren F1 road car, which was launched in 1992, set the world land speed record for a production car, and is regarded as one of the best examples of supercar exotica. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is the most successful supercar ever in its price bracket, having sold twice as many cars as its nearest carbon-based rival.
McLaren Automotive is now launching a new car company through a global network of highly regarded premium car retailers who will sell a full range of McLaren high-performance sports cars built at an advanced new manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre.
McLaren Automotive’s debut model is the MP4-12C. Drawing on the company’s long-standing Formula 1 experience in its concept and development, the 12C will be lighter, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more exclusive than its key competition.
It will achieve its performance benchmarks by introducing a unique one-piece moulded carbon chassis into the ‘core’ sports car segment using a new production method. All McLarens will be based on this innovative carbon technology; McLaren has not built a racing or road car on anything other than a carbon chassis in 30 years.
The Middle East is a key market for McLaren Automotive, and the company has set up a regional network that includes retailers in Bahrain [Al Ghassan Motors], Kuwait [Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive], Qatar [Al Wajba Establishment], Saudi Arabia [Al Ghassan Motors] and the UAE [Al Habtoor Motors], as well as a service centre in Lebanon [Saad & Trad Sal].
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