More than 25% of the automaker's staff are being told to pack their bags.
Another day, another COVID-19-related story of sad news. McLaren makes some of the most technologically advanced and expensive supercars in the world, but even this company is small in relative terms. McLaren is not owned by or in partnership with any other automaker. So while Bentley, Porsche, Bugatti, and others have a bigger network of manufacturers - in this case the Volkswagen Group - McLaren is on its own. Recently, McLaren announced plans to expand aggressively throughout the globe, with a project called Track25, and we were even promised a successor to the definitive P1 hypercar at some point after more imminent releases like the McLaren 765LT. Now, however, a massive drop in demand for vehicles and a drop in advertising income has meant that many of Woking's employees are being sent home.
As we reported previously, McLaren planned the new P1 to arrive by 2025 and intended to produce 75 percent more vehicles every year, with most of them being hybrid sports cars and supercars, with only the Ultimate Series hypercars retaining pure gas-powered engines. In order to achieve the raised target of 6,000 cars a year, McLaren hired a bunch of new staff, increasing those on its books to 2,500 individuals in 2018. In total, including over 800 individuals from the Formula 1 side of the company, around 4,000 people are employed. However, although the newcomers will likely be the first to leave, only 200 of them were recently offered employment. With 1,200 contracts being terminated, 70 of which come from the F1 team, more than a quarter of McLaren's workforce is going home.
Formula 1 has its own challenges too, with a new budget cap intended to improve competition and fairness in the sport coming into effect next year. When that happens, even more of the British firm's staff is expected to start looking for new employment opportunities. While it's sad that so many people are being negatively affected by the current situation worldwide, there's a glimmer of hope in the knowledge that McLaren is excellent at finding new ways of streamlining existing manufacturing processes. With a more fervent demand for efficiency in every sphere of business, the likes of McLaren and other automakers will undoubtedly find a way to save costs while still making advances in innovation. This may seem like a drop in the ocean, but one day, maybe we'll look back at this time as the true start of a new industrial revolution.