Evolution, not revolution at McLaren

Updated 08 July 2017

Evolution, not revolution at McLaren

The restructuring of McLaren into McLaren Group — combining the technology group and automotive arm — is a good example of long-term strategic thinking.
Furthermore, it reasserts Arab leadership and management of their sovereign assets abroad.
The McLaren Group is part-owned by sovereign wealth fund Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co. and TAG Group, which are set to remain majority shareholders. Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain will become executive chairman of the new group, valued at $3.1 billion, and pledged to follow a policy of “evolution, not revolution.”
He succeeds Ron Dennis, the veteran chairman of 37 years who sold his holdings to the group and resigned.
This move ensures stability and managed growth for McLaren after a period of uncertainty and speculation.
Until recently, it was rumored that McLaren was heading to float on the stock exchange, following in the footsteps of Ferrari.
This was followed by news of a possible takeover by Apple or Chinese companies. Dennis, 70, said after losing the CEO role at McLaren Technology that the grounds for his removal were “entirely spurious” and came after clashes with Mumtalakat and TAG over his views on outside investment and the future of the business.
It seems that Dennis wanted revolution through a public offering of McLaren stock, of which he had about $350 million worth of shares (which he sold to Mumtalakat).
However, the conservative sovereign fund and the TAG Group prefer caution and evolution.
As majority holders in the new McLaren Group, they have asserted their authority and forged their calm way forward.
McLaren has been successful with its car production arm and has achieved profits in the past few years.
They have ambitious plans for the future and they have the talent, tools and technology to further their success.
• Adel Murad is a senior motoring and business journalist based in London.


Beijing ponders support for petrol-electric hybrids

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Updated 13 July 2019

Beijing ponders support for petrol-electric hybrids

  • Hybrid cars sold in China include versions of Toyota’s Corolla, Levin and Camry sedans, and versions of Honda’s Accord and CR-V

BEIJING: China is considering re-classifying petrol-electric hybrid vehicles so they get more favorable treatment than all-petrol or diesel counterparts under clean car rules, making it easier for automakers to meet environment quotas and offer more choice.
Global hybrid leaders Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. would be among the biggest beneficiaries of such change, which could allow them to make more hybrids and less of the more costly all-electric vehicles, experts said, after reviewing the draft policy proposal published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China has some of the world’s strictest rules regarding the production of greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles, as it battles unhealthy levels of air pollution in its crowded cities.
In the draft proposal, hybrids would still be considered fossil-fueled but re-classified as “low fuel consumption passenger vehicles.” Significantly, the number of negative points incurred for making hybrids will be less than for traditional vehicles.
The proposed change came as a surprise, some experts and industry officials said, because the government has never given any preferential treatment for hybrid technology. Previously, the government offered subsidies for, for instance, the purchase of all-electric cars.
Hybrid cars sold in China include versions of Toyota’s Corolla, Levin and Camry sedans, and versions of Honda’s Accord and CR-V. Beijing-based spokesmen for both Japanese automakers declined to comment.