McLaren P1 Attracts China's Wealthy Consumers Despite Economists' Predictions For Weak Economic Growth In East Asia

 @CareyDrew2 on April 04 2013 10:26 AM

While the McLaren P1 sports automobile boasts a 900-horsepower, 3.8 twin-turbo engine and a unique hybrid electronic power system, it also carries an astronomical price tag of about $2 million. But it's safe to say that anyone who could shell that out to get behind the wheel of a P1 would get their money’s worth.

McLaren’s latest vehicle can reach triple-figure speed in less than three seconds, while the speedo needle crosses 200km/hour in under seven seconds and reaches 300km/hour in 17 seconds -- five seconds faster than the P1’s predecessor, the legendary McLaren F1.

Powered by a 132kW/260Nm electric motor, a battery pack and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends drive to the rear wheels, the McLaren P1 also has a zero-emission, pure-electric range of up to 20km when driven at an average speed of 50km/hour.

Reports indicate the U.K.-based automaker will produce only 375 P1’s worldwide, but the car has already gained the interest of China’s superwealthy consumers, despite a mediocre outlook for economic growth in 2013 for the East Asian sovereign state.

According to a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Societe Generale Economist Yao Wei predicts that China’s economy will mature around 7.8 percent this year, the same as the year before.

Wei blames the lack of economic progress on new government reform, which she said will be stricter on investments and lines of credit.

But even as McLaren reports multiple letters of P1 purchase intent from Chinese consumers, other luxury brands are preparing for a 2013 like the one Wei describes.

“We have seen, as a general perception of the market, some difference compared to the speed of growth in the previous years,” Monte Carlo Yachts Managing Director Fabrizio Iarrera told Bloomberg News. “For example, price expectation is getting lower.”

Monte Carlo Yachts, a subdivision of the longtime French boat builder Benetau, reports that in the past two years it has sold seven of its model 76’s to Chinese customers, with a target of seven more this year. A Monte Carlo 76 comes with a price tag of $4.6 million.

Much like affluent consumers in the United States, China’s wealthy in-crowd tends to rely on products like the McLaren P1 and the Monte Carlo 76 to set them apart from the rest of the country. So it’s safe to say that lagging economic growth will most likely not prevent them from signing on the dotted line.

Join the Discussion