Will McLaren Throw in the Floor Mats?

Quick: what to the following locales have in common: Birmingham, London, Manchester, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Brussels, Monaco, Paris, Milan, Barcelona/Madrid, Zurich, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, Manama, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo.

Quick: what to the following locales have in common: Birmingham, London, Manchester, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Brussels, Monaco, Paris, Milan, Barcelona/Madrid, Zurich, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, Manama, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo.

No, we didn’t know, either.

Turns out these are all places where there are a few people who have a whole lot of money. At least that’s one interpretation based on the fact that these are the places where McLaren Automotive has decided to locate its initial dealerships—or maybe that should be “retail facilities” or something more posh—for the McLaren MP4-12C, which is to go on sale in spring 2011. (And even “on sale” seems rather boorish, doesn’t it?)

The 120C features a one-piece carbon fiber chassis called the “MonoCell”—McLaren, apparently, has not made a car for the road or racing during the past 30 years that didn’t have a carbon fiber chassis—with bolt-on aluminum structures. According to McLaren, having optimized its production methodology it is able to provide the “performance of £500,000 cars to market at a third of the price.” And for those of you who think in U.S. dollars rather than British pounds, that’s approximately $718,000, divided by three, or $239,333. Of course, if you have to ask. . . .

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The company’s goal is to sell approximately 4,000 vehicles per year, or about 4% of the market for luxury and performance cars. For the initial run of 12Cs during 2011, expected to be about 1,000 units, the biggest markets are the U.S., the U.K., and Germany. There will be some 300 to 400 cars for North America, 400 to 500 for Europe, and 100 to 200 each for the Middle East/South Africa and Asia-Pacific.

One more thing. If your city was left off of that list, don’t despair quite yet. They plan to announce some additional locales in the months ahead.