Singapore Is McLaren's Hub For Asia

BY Joel Tam

Following news of billionaire Peter Lim's investment in McLaren Automotive, the company has confirmed in a press conference that Singapore will be the heart of their expansion into Asia.

In a press conference just before the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix kicked off, McLaren boss Ron Dennis and Singaporean investor Peter Lim announced their expansion plans for the Asia Pacific region.

"Singapore is a country that is committed to excellence," said Mr. Dennis, "And it was very apparent to me that if we found the right synergies and the right partnerships, this would be an inevitable hub for all our activities in the rest of Asia." said the executive chariman of McLaren.

McLaren Automotive will manage the Asia Pacific network via McLaren Automotive Asia Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary whose directors include Ron Dennis, Peter Lim and Greg Levine.

"To be honest, the first thing that struck me when this opportunity came along was whether I could make some money out of it." Mr. Lim candidly admitted. "The product is in the right segment - high end. During the due diligence period, the most interesting thing I found out was the strong culture of the company. The drive to succeed and to win is something I feel I can learn from." he added. But what really attracted him the most was the maturity of the brand itself, "It may be a young company, but the brand is already there." Mr Lim said.

When asked what his expected return of investment would be, Mr. Lim had this to say, "This is not a short-term investment, for this company, the best value is extracted when it is allowed to grow. That being the case, looking at the potential of the product, I am looking at a minimum of multiple returns of my initial investment."

When asked if McLaren might be affected by the possible economic downturn, Mr Dennis said: "No company in the world can say that they are immune to what happens in the world. But Asia is pretty robust." He added that McLaren's projections for market share are extremely conservative, and together with the car's more sophisticated character and subtle colours, he believes those looking for a supercar without the in-your-face styling will find the MP4-12C a choice product.

On display was an example of McLaren Special Operations' bespoke services. Finished in matte Volcano Orange, the car features a range of unique carbon upgrades and design details.