McLaren CEO Admits Past Models Were Sold As 'Non-Mature Products'

The Artura had the same teething problems, which is why the new boss stopped deliveries.

McLaren's newly appointed CEO Michael Leiters sat down and had an interesting chat with Evo about the brand's past mistakes and how to remedy problems in the future. He used to work for Porsche as Product Line Director and for Ferrari as Chief Technology Officer, so he knows a thing or two about high-end sports cars. The German-born executive holds a doctorate in engineering and a mechanical engineering diploma from RWTH Aachen University.

He was refreshingly honest about the issues McLaren had before his arrival in July 2022 as Chief Executive Officer:

"What I heard from my team here is that in the past we accepted a non-mature product and would launch it and deliver it to the customers. The Artura was the first project where we didn't do that. We saw that the car wasn't mature, so we stopped deliveries. We already had a significant delay in our production line at the time and we reduced [production] to zero [cars] a day to fix our quality problems."

He went on to mention the consequences of these decisions "risked the financial position of the company." As mentioned in the third-quarter earnings report, the Artura needs "certain technical upgrades." To get the necessary funds, McLaren confirmed to Automotive News the Woking-based supercar maker that it has sold some of its historic cars. These were bought by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding - which has a nearly 60 percent stake in the company - for £100 million ($121.7M at current exchange rates). However, the same AN report mentions that cash infusion isn't enough.

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