McLaren Technology Group
|Headquarters||McLaren Technology Centre
Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom
|Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa
|Revenue||GB£475 million (2015)|
|GB£22.5 million (2013)|
|GB£20.8 million (2015)|
|Owners||Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||McLaren Applied Technologies
The McLaren Group is a British conglomerate based in Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom. Founded by Ron Dennis shortly after his acquisition of the McLaren Formula One team in 1981, it was originally named the TAG McLaren Group due to a partnership with Mansour Ojjeh's TAG Group. It was renamed to simply the McLaren Group in 2003, then to McLaren Technology Group in 2015, before reverting back to McLaren Group in 2017. The group was originally formed from a Formula One team established by New Zealander Bruce McLaren in 1963 and is now focused around the McLaren Honda Formula One Racing Team, the group's second most profitable company.
The company hoped to expand its market from Formula One to manufacturing cars with its launch of the successor to the McLaren F1, the McLaren P1 and has since produced seven more models. In recent years, the group has branched out to other precision manufacturing areas, such as motorised devices for the solar and wind industries. For three years, McLaren Group's technology subsidiary McLaren Applied Technologies worked closely with GlaxoSmithKline. Together they also planned to open a new building at the McLaren Technology Centre, called the McLaren-GSK Centre for Applied Technology.
In December 2014, founder, CEO, Chairman, Director and McLaren shareholder Ron Dennis attempted to purchase 50% of McLaren Technology Group from Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Mansour Ojjeh, after shareholder relations worsened, but the investment deals Dennis had arranged failed to materialise and the shareholding structure remained as before. Dennis tried to purchase the company again in October 2016, with an estimated bid of £1.7bn, but Ojjeh and Mumtalakat wanted Dennis out, refusing his bid and consequently placing him on garden leave. Dennis left the company upon the expiry of his contract in January 2017.
In June 2017 it was announced that Dennis had sold his 25% shareholding in the McLaren Technology Group back to the other shareholders, in addition to his shares in McLaren Automotive. The group then merged with McLaren Automotive, reverting back to its previous McLaren Group name.
Bruce McLaren started Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963 and the team first entered Formula One in 1966. 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. McLaren Group and all of its companies were later formed by Ron Dennis CBE, these include a diverse number of technology based companies including TAGMcLaren Audio, a high end manufacturer of DVD Players and Audio Equipment (Now sold to IAG), Absolute Taste, a London-based catering company notably for numerous celebrities including John Terry and Jenson Button, McLaren Automotive, a high end luxury sports car manufacturer but a separate company from the Group, Lydden Circuit, a Kent racing circuit and McLaren Applied Technologies- known for its sporting equipment used by Mark Cavendish, Lizzie Yarnold and others in numerous sports including bicycles and skeletons, it also manufacturers modern solutions such as the electronics at Heathrow Airport and GlaxoSmithKline plc's vaccine and drug company and formerly its consumer healthcare division which manafactuers Horlicks, Aquafresh, Boost, Gaviscon etc. McLaren Composites, creators of composites for cars such as the McLaren F1 and Mercedes SLR and even space craft parts, was later replaced with McLaren Applied Technologies. The group consists of a large number of companies (and subsidiaries of its companies), some of which are stated below.
McLaren originally entered Formula One in 1966 under its founder Bruce McLaren. However, in 1970 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 could focus on expanding McLaren overall, and especially in the road car market
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, ending after the 2014 season.
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.
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 16 November 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 continued to supply engines to McLaren until 2014.
On 16 November 2009 Mercedes bought a 75.1% stake in Brawn GP and rebranded it as Mercedes Grand Prix. Mercedes continued supplying engines and sponsorship until 2014. 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.
At the end of 2011 McLaren Group completely bought back the stocks from Daimler.
Vodafone's title sponsorship deal, which began in 2007, ended at the finish of the 2013 season. In 2014, the team's official title was McLaren Mercedes. In 2015, the team, under a new partnership with car manufacturer Honda changed its official title to McLaren Honda.
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, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and the Koenigsegg One:1. In September 2009 McLaren announced the successor of the McLaren F1 was to be the upcoming McLaren P1. Dennis said that parting ways with Mercedes was a "win-win situation for both sides". McLaren also produced the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with Mercedes as a joint project. Mercedes at this time owned 11% of the group as 29% has been sold back to the group. Now Mercedes has left the McLaren Group owners, selling their remaining 29%.
McLaren Applied Technologies is the main subsidiary of McLaren Group, known for making the bike raced in the Le Tour de France by Mark Cavendish, the gold winning bobsled as used by Lizzy Yarnold and more. In Formula One, McLaren Applied Technologies is the official ECU (Engine Control Unit) supplier to all teams, the official electronics supplier to all NASCAR teams and also helps develop medicines and drugs made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). McLaren have also developed some household brands with GSK, including Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Boost, Horlicks, NiQuitin and more. McLaren Applied Technologies began as "McLaren Composites", mainly for the manufacture for parts for the McLaren F1 and Mercedes SLR. However, it began to grow and won contracts to manufacture parts for other companies and even grew into the energy industry, mainly solar panels. It was dissolved in 2003 and replaced with "McLaren Applied Technologies" a short while after in 2004.
- Lydden Circuit, a racetrack near Dover in Kent. Sold to a private investor.
- McLaren Advanced Vehicles, founded to focus on breaking the land speed record. Abandoned after the success of the Thrust SSC.
- McLaren Animation, a CGI animation studio originally created to develop Tooned. Merged with McLaren's other television-related businesses into McLaren Marketing.
- McLaren Cars, produced the McLaren F1. Became dormant and was replaced by McLaren Automotive.
- McLaren Composites, a technology company best known for building the McLaren F1 and Mercedes SLR structures and supplying major parts for Beagle 2. Merged with TAG Electronic Systems to form McLaren Applied Technologies
- McLaren Electronic Systems, developed and manufactured automotive control systems and components for motorsports. Became a brand of McLaren Applied Technologies.
- TAG Electronic Systems, merged with McLaren Composites to form the new company, McLaren Applied Technologies.
- TAGMcLaren Audio, a hi-fi, CD player, DVD player, and other electronics company. Sold to International Audio Group and renamed Audiolab.
Ron Dennis owned all of McLaren for a year after buying out the original shareholders after Bruce McLaren's death, at the time the company was solely a F1 team. In 1983 he offered Mansour Ojjeh the chance to purchase 50% of the new F1 team. He accepted and McLaren was a joint venture between Ojjeh's holding company, TAG Group and Dennis until 3 January 2000, when Daimler AG (then DaimlerChrysler AG) exercised an option to buy 40 percent of the TAGMcLaren Group. By now, the F1 team had already grown into a number of different companies since Ojjeh's investment, so DaimlerChrysler were planning on purchasing 40% of the whole parent group, not just the F1 team. 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 TAG Group (owned by Mansour Ojjeh) each retained a 30 percent share. 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. 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, Dennis 15 percent, and Ojjeh 15 percent. 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. The McLaren Group bought back Daimler's shareholding over a gradual process of two years, before buying back the last shares at the end of 2011. The shares were divided between the other shareholders. Dennis planned to buy out Ojjeh's quarter ownership in McLaren, however, this fell through, most likely as Ojjeh was unwilling to leave the company as he could be seen as a founding member. In 2014 Dennis announced now that he planned to purchase Mumtalakat's shares.
Shareholder relations continued to worsen, and consequently in October 2016, Dennis offered £1.7bn to Mumtalakat and Ojjeh for McLaren, only to be rejected as fellow shareholders wanted Dennis removed. Dennis took his fellow shareholders to the High Court to prevent them removing him from the company, but lost the case and was removed from his position officially on 15th November 2016.
The company is currently run by an 'executive committee' as appointed by Mumtalakat and Ojjeh, until a successor to Dennis is found.
In June 2017 it was announced that Dennis had sold his 25% shareholding in the McLaren Technology Group back to the other shareholders, in addition to his shares in McLaren Automotive.
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McLaren Automotive road car timeline, 1990s–present
|Ultimate Series||F1||Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren||P1|