The new McLaren ArturaThe new McLaren Artura


Could Tesla become a bidder for supercar maker McLaren as investors ‘call time on losses’?

  • Reports suggest McLaren’s biggest shareholder is fed up of pumping cash into car maker
  • The Sunday Times suggest Chinese firms and Tesla have been approached 
  • Some £1.5bn has been stumped up by shareholders to keep firm afloat in just four years

Time 7:09 am, March 10, 2024

Sports car manufacturer McLaren could be up for sale – with Tesla a possible bidder – according to reports.

The Sunday Times says the Woking-based business’ biggest backer, the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, is tired of pumping in cash.

Shareholders have spent some £1.5bn backing the business ‘in the past four years alone’, says the newspaper, and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has called time on the losses.

It is alleged that when he heard of the extent of the funds being pumped into the supercar maker he ‘issued a swift order to sell up and get out of McLaren’.

The car maker has been burning through cash since the Covid pandemic when sales dropped and the supply of parts dried up.

Since then, the launch of its Artura supercar (pictured) has been hit with delays and a series of cash calls have been made to investors to shore up its finances.

The paper says McLaren has instructed JP Morgan to find a ‘strategic partner’ who will also take a stake in the business.

Sources told the paper that it is hoped this will grow to a majority stake in time, diluting Bahrain’s holding in the car maker.

Chinese businesses are said to have been approached, but sources told the paper Tesla would be the best fit.

Professor David Bailey from the University of Birmingham, said: ‘Best-case scenario, who would you want McLaren to partner with on electric vehicles? It would be Tesla.

‘It would give Tesla a top-end sports pedigree. It would give McLaren access to Tesla’s cutting edge electric vehicle technology. 

‘That’s a marriage made in heaven.’

A spokesperson for McLaren said it was ‘open to discussing potential strategic partners and suppliers’.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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