McLaren sold some historic cars to fund Artura’s development

McLaren has started selling cars from its impressive historic collection to fund new product development, a company spokesman told Bloomberg in an interview published last week.

The tight racing team and supercar manufacturer needed the funds to pay for the development of “certain technical upgrades” for the Artura. The development of these upgrades is at the root of delivery delays for the plug-in hybrid supercar, McLaren said in November during a earnings call on the third quarter.

The Artura was first shown in early 2021, although deliveries to customers didn’t begin until mid-this year. McLaren didn’t say what upgrades were made to the car.

Nor did McLaren say which historic cars were sold. The collection includes a variety of cars including 54 Formula 1 racing cars and several F1 supercars. McLaren continually updates the collection and has sold cars from it in the past.

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

The latest sale keeps the cars in the McLaren family as they were sold to Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund which owns 60% of McLaren. Bahrain first bought a 30 percent stake in McLaren in 2007, at the height of the global financial crisis. More recently, it has bought additional shares and provided bailout loans to McLaren as the company struggled with liquidity following the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

Saudi Arabia was also tapped for cash in 2021. That year McLaren also sold its famous headquarters in Woking, UK, in a sale and leaseback deal.

During McLaren’s conference call, the company said that Bahrain has agreed to inject an additional $125 million into its coffers and that it will need even more funding as its cash position was just $106 million at the end of the third quarter , compared to $208 million a year ago. McLaren also said it reported a loss of $247 million for the nine months ended September, up from a loss of $84 million for the same period a year ago.

The turmoil at McLaren led to Mike Flewitt stepping down from his role as CEO of the supercar division at the end of 2021. He was replaced by former Ferrari manager Michael Leiters in July. There are rumors McLaren could now enter the lucrative SUV segment, which was ruled out during Flewitt’s time at the company.

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