If you’d like to own a McLaren, there’s only one official franchised dealership in Canada that can help you – McLaren Toronto. While this dealership is unique in that it’s the only one of its kind in Canada, it’s been built to strict McLaren standards, which means it’s very much like all McLaren dealerships around the globe.
“The materials are all McLaren,” says Horst Bulau, sales executive at McLaren Toronto. “The furniture, ceiling, walls, cabinetry – it’s all McLaren.”
The first thing you notice when you walk into the dealership is the minimalist approach to the design. There’s no clutter, no unnecessary distractions, nothing that might divert your attention away from the coveted supercars in the showroom.
You also notice how small the dealership is. It’s almost a boutique-style approach to selling cars, rather than a mass-marketing volume-driven operation. There’s room for maybe six automobiles at best on the showroom floor, but don’t expect to see that many when you visit. Besides the circular showroom display area designed to showcase a single McLaren automobile, there’s rarely another car in the showroom.
“The vehicles that are in the showroom are already sold,” explains Bulau. This means that if a car has come in from the McLaren factory for a customer, McLaren Toronto will put it on their showroom floor for “safe keeping” until the customer arrives to pick it up. But if you happen to visit the dealership on a day when no pending deliveries are taking place, the showroom might appear rather empty.
Bulau says customers can’t just walk in and pick up a car from available stock. “If someone were to walk in today and order a car, they’d be looking at a late fall deliver at best,” he says. “It can be a lengthy process. It all depends on where the allocation falls and how many people are on the waiting list.”
The base price for a McLaren in Canada is $247,500, but according to Bulau the average price, once the vehicle is customized to suit the specific needs and wants of the individual buyer, is in the neighbourhood of $300,000.
Sales are brisk, for a car in this price range. Bulau says he will deliver between 50 and 55 McLaren’s this year.
Who is buying these majestic supercars? Bulau says all his customers, to date, have been male. The average age is about 50, but Bulau says he’s had some young 20-something buyers as well.
“Our customers are all sports car enthusiasts,” Bulau adds. “Some of them are Formula 1 followers, and they like the McLaren team. Some are collector types who have half-a-dozen vehicles and want to add a McLaren to their collection.”
In order to pay homage to the Formula 1 pedigree and heritage of these supercars, every McLaren dealership has an authentic (retired) Formula 1 race car on display in the showroom.
You’ll also find a bare McLaren chassis on display in every dealership. “It gives the customer a chance to see under the skin,” Bulau adds. “They get to see the carbon fibre chassis, the lightweight aluminum construction, the mid-engine design, the unique path of the exhaust, the magnesium under-skin of the dashboard, and more.”
These one of a kind automobiles are sold by a one of a kind dealership – McLaren Toronto. It’s almost a shame that these majestic supercars will only be enjoyed by a privileged few.