Motor Racing Team McLaren Launches New Auto Unit

WOKING, England (Dow Jones)–At a time when auto makers are emerging from recession, the most successful team in Formula One motor racing is gearing up to challenge sports-car manufacturers with its own high-performance vehicles for the road in a strategic move it hopes will secure its long-term future.

McLaren Group, which encompasses the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One motor racing team, Thursday formally launched McLaren Automotive and unveiled its first high-performance sports car that it plans to start selling in spring of 2011 through a dedicated global retail and distribution network.

Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren Group and until last year principal of the McLaren F1 racing team, told reporters at the futuristic, Foster & Partners-designed McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, 30 miles southwest of London, that a move into sports cars was a logical and essential next step for the company.

Drawing on his long history in motor racing, Dennis, said that 106 Formula One racing teams had come and gone since 1966, and, despite its success, McLaren’s continuation as a Formula One team “will surely lead to extinction.”usnewdo


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