McLaren Automotive’s production director will tell hundreds of people that the UK can export more if firms focus on marketing.
Alan Foster will tell guests at the Manufacturers’ Gala Dinner, at Ponds Forge next Tuesday that selling a British luxury brand should not be taken for granted – even a McLaren.
“We have competition, from Ferrari, Lamborghini and others,” says Mr Foster. “We have been through a recession and, unlike popular belief, this group of customers are not recession-proof.”
Foster emphasises the importance of marketing as an essential part of the company’s approach to business: “Our customer liaison team strive to carry forward our motto – ‘to take your breath away’.
“I think all manufacturers need to dedicate more to customer care, it doesn’t matter what your product line is. Listening and actively reacting enhances the relationship.”
He will join a panel debate at the dinner which is set to include Trevor Williams of Lloyds Bank, Master Cutler Tony Pedder OBE, Jan Ward of Corrotherm International and Brian Holliday of Siemens Industry UK, among other industry experts.
McLaren Automotive is an export success story, having sold over 3,500 of its first supercar, the MP-4 12C, mostly overseas. Production started in 2011 at its purpose- built, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Woking, Surrey.
Each car is packed with innovative performance technology, some developed in conjunction with its F1 team. McLaren has recently launched the 650s, their fifth car in four years, which incorporates elements of customer feedback, as well as improvements that their development engineering team considered would enhance the driving experience. A 650s starts at £195,000.
The main mandate of the Festival is to connect smaller suppliers to the procurement chains of big global companies. As a super-high-performance carmaker, McLaren has had to develop a global supply chain to support its ambitious product portfolio plans.
McLaren retains a 100 per cent design-led philosophy under its own control, but seeks to engage with like-minded, in some cases niche businesses as well as the larger, more global suppliers to manufacture its precision components.