McLaren to produce 15 new cars under its new £1bn expansion plan
McLaren will recruit 500 staff under this new planReuters

McLaren Automotive recently unveiled a new expansion plan. Under this plan called Track 22, the British manufacturer of high-performance cars will spend £1bn (€1.29bn, $1.4bn) to expand its portfolio with up to 15 new models, at least half of which will have hybrid engine technology.

While it will recruit 500 staff under this six-year strategy, the new models could be completely new or derivatives of the existing models. The plan also aims at increasing its annual sales to 5,000 cars from the current 1,600.

Mike Flewitt, chief executive at the company which uses the same technology as its F1 racing team, said: "This business plan confirms that McLaren Automotive will remain proudly and fiercely independent by continuing to build the world's finest two-seater sports and supercars." He added that under the new plan the company will increase its customer base by making cars that are affordable even for the rich rather than for just the super-rich segment of people. He also hoped that the newer models will attract younger buyers as currently most of its European buyers were aged over 40, according to BBC.

Indicating the importance of research and development (R&D), the chief executive said £250,000 of this new investment will be utilised for R&D, including the development of an all-electric prototype. While earlier this year McLaren said it would recruit 250 staff immediately to work on a second shift to its manufacturing line at its Surrey plant, many of the new jobs from the Track 22 plan are expected to be skilled engineering roles. Flewitt said: "[Such roles are] undoubtedly getting more competitive. Luckily, McLaren is an attractive brand to come and work for."

The company, whose exports constitute for 90% of its sales, witnessed a drop in sales because of the China slowdown. When queried if he was worried over the health of the global economy, Flewitt said: "We sell cars into 30 markets, with 82 dealerships. As one market comes down — China has dropped this year and last year — other markets strengthen."