McLaren sold some historic cars to fund Artura development

McLaren has begun selling off cars from its impressive heritage collection to fund new product development, a company spokesman said Bloomberg in an interview published last week.

The cash-strapped racing team and supercar builder needed the funds to pay for the development of “some technical improvements” for Arthur. Development of these improvements is the reason for the delay in delivery of the plug-in hybrid supercar, McLaren said in November during a third-quarter earnings call.

The Artura was first shown in early 2021, although deliveries to customers only started in the middle of that year. McLaren did not say what improvements have been made to the car.

McLaren also did not say what heritage cars were sold. The collection includes a diverse range of cars, including 54 Formula 1 racing cars and several F1 supercars. McLaren is constantly updating the collection and has sold cars from it in the past.

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

The latest sale keeps the cars in the McLaren family as they were sold to Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, which owns 60% of McLaren. Bahrain first bought a 30% stake in McLaren in 2007, at the height of the global financial crisis. More recently he purchased additional shares and provided rescue loans of McLaren as the company struggled with liquidity since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Saudi Arabia was also tapped for money in 2021. In that year, McLaren also sold its famous headquarters in Woking, United Kingdom to sale and leaseback transaction.

During McLaren’s earnings call, the company said Bahrain had agreed to inject another $125 million into its coffers and that it would need even more funding as its liquidity at the end of the third quarter was just $106 million dollars, down from $208 million a year ago. McLaren also reported a loss of $247 million in the nine months to September, compared with a loss of $84 million in the same period a year ago.

The upheavals at McLaren saw Mike Flewitt is leaving his role as CEO of the supercar division at the end of 2021. He was replaced by former Ferrari CEO Michael Leiters in July. There are rumors that McLaren might now are entering the lucrative SUV segmentsomething that was ruled out during Fluitt’s tenure at the company.