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News: McLaren pulls plug on 12C in shock rethink

WEEKS AFTER promising the 12C model would remain in production, McLaren has emailed owners, some of whom paid over £200,000, to tell them it will no longer be made.


McLaren 12C Spider front

WEEKS AFTER promising the 12C model would remain in production, McLaren has emailed owners, some of whom paid over £200,000, to tell them it will no longer be made.

The company’s shock decision comes in the wake of a press briefing McLaren gave in February for its latest model, the 650S. Then, it told The Sunday Times that the 12C would remain in production, with its engine remaining at its existing power output and with the same name.

However, in an email sent to owners today, Mike Hewitt, McLaren’s chief executive, said: “…we have decided to cease [production] in light of the success of 650S.”

He added: “After three years of 12C production, this represents a natural evolution of our model line-up”.

McLaren says the move to end the car’s production “is a business decision based purely on demand.” It claims orders for the next six months are only for the 650S.

Owners of the 12C may be annoyed that they have been left owning a car which may be perceived to be less desirable among sports car buyers, potentially reducing its value.

McLaren is offering 12C owners complimentary software upgrades, which affect the car’s airbrake system, and its Android-based IRIS telematics system.

McLaren says it has contacted more than 2,300 12C owners around the world telling them that the changes would be made during the vehicle’s scheduled annual service or, if the owner prefers, by arranging an appointment with their dealer. It says the work would take two hours to carry out.

The company says the changes will not be accompanied by any form of warranty beyond the car’s original three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, active from the date the car was purchased new. It has told owners it can be contacted by emailing client.services@mclaren.com.

One user of mclarenlife.com, a forum for McLaren owners, said the offer of upgrades was probably not enough to buy their loyalty. Another said it demonstrated goodwill, but that the email to owners should have been sent a month ago.