McLaren Group

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McLaren Group Limited
Type Private
Industry Motorsport
Founded 1963
Headquarters Woking, Surrey, England
Key people Ron Dennis, Chairman of McLaren Group, CEO of McLaren Group, Executive Chairman of McLaren Automotive and CEO of McLaren Racing.
Revenue GB£ 2.5 billion (2012)
Operating income GB£ 3.25 billion (2012)
Net income GB£ 2.3 billion (2012)
Employees 5289 (2012)
Subsidiaries McLaren Racing
McLaren Automotive
McLaren Electronics
Website McLaren Group
References: Source: ICC Financial Analysis Reports

The McLaren Group, based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England, is a group of companies created by Ron Dennis, described by the International Herald Tribune as "a small conglomerate".[1] The Group was originally formed from the team established by New Zealander Bruce McLaren in 1963 and is now focused around the McLaren Mercedes Formula One Racing Team. The company hopes to expand its market from Formula One to manufacturing cars with its launch of the successor to the McLaren F1, the McLaren P1. In recent years, the group has branched out to other precision manufacturing areas, such as motorized devices for the solar and wind industries.[2]

Beginnings of McLaren[edit]

Bruce McLaren started the Woking-based McLaren Formula One team in 1966.[citation needed] Teddy Mayer took over direction of the group following Bruce McLaren's death while testing a Can-am series car in 1970. Mayer subsequently lead the McLaren to their first World Constructors' Championship in 1974 with Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi, who also won the World Drivers' Championship that year.

Beginning of car manufacturing (1992–present)[edit]

In 1992 McLaren began producing its first road car, the McLaren F1, which had many similarities to its F1 car. In total, 106 were produced from 1992–1998, and even though it has been out of production for 15 years, there are still few production cars with a higher top speed than the F1. Among those that are faster are the Koenigsegg Agera R, Bugatti Veyron, SSC Ultimate Aero,[3] Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and the Koenigsegg One:1. In September 2009 McLaren announced the successor of the McLaren F1 which is to be the upcoming McLaren P1. Dennis said that parting ways with Mercedes was a "win-win situation for both sides".[4] McLaren also produced the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with Mercedes as a joint project. Mercedes presently owns 11% of the group as 29% has been sold back to the group.[5]

Formula One (1966-present)[edit]

McLaren originally started as a Formula One team in 1966 under its founder Bruce McLaren. However three years after creating the team he died in a crash. The team was saved by Teddy Mayer who helped the team win their first Constructors' and Drivers title. After Teddy Mayer, Ron Dennis took over the McLaren Racing team and he has worked for the company ever since. However, at the beginning of the 2009 season, Ron Dennis handed over the F1 department to Martin Whitmarsh so Dennis can focus on expanding McLaren overall, and especially in the road car market[4]

The first period of F1 operation (1966–1994)[edit]

In 1966, McLaren suffered with reliability with their Ford 4.2 litre engine, and only scored a point after changing to a Serenissima V8. In 1967 they tried two different BRM engines. For the 1968 season they switched to Cosworth Ford engines. These continued to 1983, apart from a couple of Alfa Romeo examples, and then the TAG-Porsche turbo came in. This was the start of the MP4 cars, and the first entire carbon-composite chassis.

Honda engines took over in 1988, and then in 1993 the MP4/8 had a Ford HB engine. The next year was a Peugeot V10, and then the Mercedes era began in 1995, and is scheduled to continue to 2015.

The team's first F1 race win occurred in 1968 when Bruce McLaren won the non-championship Race Of Champions at Brands Hatch driving a McLaren M7A Ford. Later that year the team scored its first Grand Prix win when Bruce McLaren took the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps. By the end of the season Denny Hulme had won two further Grands Prix—in Italy and Canada (the team's first 1-2 finish in a World Championship race). Emerson Fittipaldi won the F1 world championship in 1974, and McLaren also took their first constructor's title at the same time. The 1976 title was taken by James Hunt, and then there was a gap until 1984. Then, Lauda took the title, and Prost took it the next two years running. The team took the constructor's title in 84 and 85.

In 1988, the McLaren-Honda MP4/4 had a very successful year. Not only did Senna win the title, but the car won 15 out of 16 races, and, apart from just 27 laps, led every single lap during the year. Prost won in 1989, and then left for Ferrari after clashing with Senna. Senna also won the title for McLaren in 1990 and 1991.

Partnership with Mercedes (1995–2009)[edit]

The partnership between McLaren and Mercedes began in 1995 with McLaren choosing to use Mercedes engines. This partnership was to last 15 years because McLaren and Mercedes parted ways on November 16, 2009 as Mercedes had bought the debut-season driver & constructor winning team Brawn. It was re-branded as Mercedes GP. Ron Dennis said one reason McLaren and Mercedes parted ways was because of his "ambitious plans to turn McLaren into a car manufacturer." Dennis insisted that in the "21st Century to survive in F1 you need to have more than just a team". However Mercedes will continue to supply engines to McLaren until 2014.[4]

Post-Mercedes era (2009–present)[edit]

On November 16, 2009 Mercedes bought a 75.1% stake in Brawn GP and rebranded it as Mercedes Grand Prix. Mercedes will continue supplying engines and sponsorship until 2015 and the team's official name will remain Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. McLaren also said "The McLaren Group will become a fully independent stand-alone corporate entity" as McLaren is to buy back stock from Daimler in phases up until 2011.[6]

At the end of 2011 McLaren Group completely bought back the stocks from Daimler.


  • McLaren Racing, the company behind the "McLaren Mercedes" Formula One constructor
  • McLaren Electronic Systems, which develops and manufactures automotive control systems and components for motorsports, including systems for McLaren Racing
  • McLaren Marketing, primarily serving the marketing and media requirements of McLaren Racing
  • Absolute Taste, caterer to Team McLaren and corporate clients.
  • Lydden Circuit, which manages a racetrack of the same name near Dover in Kent.
  • McLaren Applied Technologies, which develops commercial applications for the Group's technologies and provides an internal resource for facilities and expertise.
  • McLaren Animation, launched in 2012, is a CGI animation studio.[7]

McLaren Cars Ltd is a dormant subsidiary of McLaren Group, which was used to develop road going vehicles, including the McLaren F1 and in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz produced the SLR McLaren. The assets of this company were later spun out into a new separate company, McLaren Automotive, which is not a subsidiary of McLaren Group. This enabled new investors to be brought in beside the existing McLaren Group owners, including Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, to enable the significant investment required to develop the McLaren MP4-12C.


On 3 January 2000, Daimler AG (then DaimlerChrysler AG) exercised an option to buy 40 percent of the TAG McLaren Group. Since 1995, Daimler had supplied British-built Mercedes-Benz engines to the McLaren Formula One team under the Mercedes-Benz brand. Ron Dennis and the Techniques d'Avant Garde Group (owned by Mansour Ojjeh) each retained a 30 percent share.[8] In November 2003 TAG McLaren Group announced it would change its name to McLaren Group and its associated companies would also drop the TAG name.

In August 2006 it was reported that Daimler was considering acquiring the 60 percent of McLaren Group held by Dennis and Ojjeh.[9] However in January 2007, it was announced that Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, wholly owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, intended to purchase 15 percent from both Dennis and Ojjeh. The shareholding became Daimler 40 percent, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company 30 percent, Ron Dennis 15 percent, and Mansour Ojjeh 15 percent.[10] On 16 November 2009, Mercedes bought Brawn GP and announced that McLaren would buy back Daimler's 40 percent share of McLaren in a deal which reported to be worth about £0.5bn.[4] The McLaren Group brought back Daimler's shareholding over a gradual process of two years,[11][12] before buying back the last shares at the end of 2011.[13] The shares were divided between the other shareholders, with the Mumtalakat Holding Company currently holding 50%, and Ron Dennis and the TAG Group holding 25% each.[13]


  1. ^ Spurgeon, Brad (2000-06-24). "TAG McLaren Group Revs Up Off Track". International Herald Tribune. p. 9. 
  2. ^ Pete Engardio (February 13, 2010). "In Detroit, Is There Life After the Big 3?". New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ "SSC Aero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d Benson, Andrew (2009-11-16). "BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula One | Mercedes takes over Brawn F1 team". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  5. ^ REUTERS, Mar 18, 2010, 09.35pm IST (2010-03-18). "McLaren buy back bulk of Mercedes shares - The Times of India". Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  6. ^ Nesha starcevic (2009-11-17). "Mercedes takes over Brawn GP - Taiwan News Online". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "DaimlerChrysler acquires an interest in TAG McLaren". DaimlerChrysler. 2 February 2000. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mercedes may raise McLaren stake, no decision yet". Reuters. 2006-08-16. Retrieved 2006-08-16. 
  10. ^ Noble, Jonathan (9 January 2007). "Bahrain company buys into McLaren". Autosport (Haymarket Media). Retrieved 11 January 2007. 
  11. ^ Adam Cooper (10 November 2010). "McLaren Team Made Big Profit In 2009". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Company profile". Fast Track. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Saward, Joe (4 January 2012). "The Politics within McLaren". Joe Sawards Grand Prix blog. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

Coordinates: 51°20′45.0″N 0°32′54.0″W / 51.345833°N 0.548333°W / 51.345833; -0.548333