Business Standard

Not chasing sales, focus on solid customer experience: McLaren India

McLaren formally started operations in India in November last year when it opened its first showroom in Mumbai

hybrid supercar McLaren Artura

Lalit Choudary, CMD, Infinity Cars (left) and Paul Harris, Regional Director for Asia Pacific & China, McLaren, after the launch of hybrid supercar McLaren Artura.

Deepak Patel New Delhi

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McLaren is not chasing unit sales in India right now as the company wants to focus on ensuring robust customer experience in getting custom-made supercars, said Paul Harris, its Regional Director for Asia Pacific & China, on Friday.

McLaren formally started operations in India in November last year when it opened its first showroom in Mumbai. This showroom is operated by Infinity Cars. McLaren sold about 20 units in India in 2022. All supercars are custom-made.

The British carmaker is not planning to open any more retail stores in India this year. "In our segment, it is all about experience, and it is not about having multiple representations (stores) in multiple locations. If we concentrate in one area, we can make that better," Harris told Business Standard in an interview.

He said that the company operates on two approaches. From a sales viewpoint, the company can fly the customer to the UK where he or she can have an experience, or the company would go to the customer with the car. From the service viewpoint, the company can go and do the service locally, or the car is moved to the Mumbai showroom in extreme cases.

"Clearly, it gets to a break point where these approaches may not be sustainable. But we are nowhere near that in India. So, for the moment, it is just Mumbai (showroom)" Harris noted. 

Harris said the indicators -- Indian economy, company's order bank, etc -- for the company's growth in the Indian market are robust. "We expect strong growth in 2023," he added. McLaren on Friday launched its hybrid supercar Artura in India.

Does the company have any sales target in India for 2023? "We are not so much fascinated with numbers because it is more about the experience of the customers. It is about individualisation. To make each car unique to the customer, it takes time and it involves a lot of back and forth with the customer," Harris mentioned. 

This is a relationship business, which can't be on a scale, he noted. "It has to be in a unique way. We do not chase numbers," he added. 

Lalit Choudary, Chairman and Managing Director of Infinity Cars, said if the company wanted, it could have sold a lot more cars. "It is not about volumes. It is about facing the reality of supply constraints and the time it takes to build each car for the customer," he mentioned.

McLaren comes under the high-end sports car segment. There are a couple of brands that operate in this segment in India, Choudary noted.

This segment, which does not include luxury sports utility vehicles (SUVs), have cars priced at more than Rs 4 crore. "In this segment, about 85 cars were sold in 2022 in India. We had about 25 per cent share," Choudary mentioned.

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First Published: May 26 2023 | 10:41 PM IST

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