“Actually all our cars are just bad”

“Actually all our cars are just bad”

McLaren’s new CEO is at a loss for words. Michael Leiters simply admits that his brand has produced cars in recent years that were bad. “Immature”, he calls it, with a great sense of decline.

McLaren is not doing well. British sports car manufacturers have not only been hit by the corona crisis, but now they are also facing the consequences of the global chip shortage and its laxity. General manager Michael Leiters has been very open about it in an interview with British newspaper Evo.

McLaren Artura is not enough

The new McLaren Artura, which is supposed to save the company, was supposed to enter the market a year ago, but it has been postponed to work on various problems, mainly software. Artura is not enough, says Leiters. “There should be no compromise. If you try to close it, you lose quality. Our entire company needs to understand how important quality is.”

Because in that area McLaren does not have the best reputation. Leiters has been in his post since July 1 and previously worked at Ferrari and Porsche. The first decision he made as McLaren’s new chief executive was to ax Artura. “I heard from my team that in the past we accepted unripe products. And we made it easy for customers.”

Leiters: “The Artura is the first example where we haven’t done that. We saw that the car was not mature, so we stopped production. We were already experiencing delays on the assembly line and reduced production to zero to address the quality issues of the Artura.

The emphasis should be on quality

According to Leiters, McLaren has jeopardized its financial position by offering inferior cars to customers. “We want to give our dealers and customers an important message: that we understand that our focus in the future must be on quality. We no longer say: ‘this car is fast and exciting, so forgive us for quality issues’. That is impossible!”

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McLaren can no longer live as a pioneer, says Leiters. “When you are still young, you can make mistakes. But we are not young anymore. We must be a mature organization.” One with a coordinated product portfolio, in which the hierarchy between models is clear.

Complete with the same power source every time

It must end with McLarens that look alike and have the same power, says Leiters. He’s referring to McLaren’s well-known twin-turbo V8, which has been used in all models since the introduction of the MP4-12C. The first sports car with a new power source is the Artura, with its V6 and hybrid support.

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