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P1 drives McLaren to Profit

Jeremy Clarkson loved it on Top Gear recently for its breathtaking performance and beautiful design but the bosses at McLaren will have even more reason to appreciate the P1 after sales of the supercar drove the marque into profit a year earlier than predicted. The £866,000 road car is a sell out, with 51 people already on its waiting list.

Jeremy Clarkson loved it on Top Gear recently for its breathtaking performance and beautiful design but the bosses at McLaren will have even more reason to appreciate the P1 after sales of the supercar drove the marque into profit a year earlier than predicted. The £866,000 road car is a sell out, with 51 people already on its waiting list. McLaren Automotive is the road car business of the McLaren Formula One team and only started making cars in 2011. The Formula One team has been in business for 50 years but the new road car division was only scheduled to break even by 2013. Instead, due to better than expected sales of the P1, it made a profit.

McLaren Automotive chief executive, Mike Flewitt, welcomed the news, saying: "We expected to break even in 2013 but we actually made a small profit so we're slightly ahead. It's a very significant development." The company has yet to announce its official yearly figures for 2013.

Clearly not one to rest on its laurels, McLaren Automotive has gone on to launch another new car. The 650S has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The new car will cost £195,250, a significant reduction on the price of the P1. It will be available for purchase from April, has an impressive 0-62mph time of just three seconds and can reach 124mph in 8.4 seconds. Production of the P1 was limited to just 375 cars, in order to maintain its exclusivity, but no such limit will be placed on its more affordable little brother, the 650S. The 650S is in turn more advanced, powerful, aerodynamic and faster than its 12C predecessor.

So far, McLaren Automotive has been producing around 1,500 cars per year but with the 650C it hopes to increase that to up to 4,000. The company exports around 80% of its production and sells its cars from 50 dealerships across the globe. It has recently opened a sales centre in China. According to Mr Flewitt, McLaren Automotive has no plans to replace the P1. In fact, the car is so advanced that any replacement will have to wait until new advances in technology make a new model worthwhile, a process that could take ten years.

Good news for McLaren continued with the announcement that the McLaren Applied Technologies division has won a lucrative contract with Heathrow Airport to improve the efficiency of taxiing aircraft, using its advanced F1 simulation software.

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