McLaren plans eight dealerships in China by early 2014 image

McLaren Automotive Ltd. plans to have eight dealerships in China by early 2014 as the british supercar maker joins rivals Lamborghini and Ferrari in betting on rising demand in the Asian country.

McLaren, best-known as the most successful Formula One team after Ferrari, started McLaren Automotive in March 2010 to market sports cars. The British company launched an US$80m factory last year that will allow mass production of its supercar as it looks to translate its sporting success into 4,000 car sales a year.

Now the company plans to sell 100 to 150 MP4-12C supercars in the first 12 months after opening an initial four dealerships in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu), Ian Gorsuch, McLaren’s Asia Pacific director said.

McLaren Automotive Asia Pte Ltd will be responsible for all of McLaren Automotive’s regional operations throughout its Asia Pacific network. This includes importation, distribution, logistics, sales, marketing, technical support and financial services for McLaren’s range of high-performance sports cars.

Car sales in China rose 22.6 per cent year on year in May, according to figures released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Association officials said they expected the market to strengthen further in coming months.

A total of 6.33 million passenger vehicles were sold in China in the January-May period, up 5.48% from a year earlier.