Churning out endless high-powered, well-engineered supercars for two decades hasn’t been enough to secure McLaren from hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of a new restructuring plan, McLaren plans to sell its iconic McLaren Technology Centre headquarters in the U.K.
The automaker instructed a property manager to start marketing its McLaren Technology Centre headquarters, reports City A.M. The iconic facility not only houses McLaren’s design and development offices, but it also features several artificial lakes, a wind-tunnel testing facility, a collection of McLaren cars, and was designed by architect Norman Foster. Since opening in 2003, it’s featured in a bunch of media, and while it’s never actually been used as a Bond villain lair (yet), it has been used in the Fast And Furious franchise.
Here’s a McLaren’s spokesperson’s statement to City A.M. about the terms of the sale:
“The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year.
“Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.
“The proposed sale and leaseback mirrors best practice among leading companies and will have no impact on our day-to-day operations.
“The McLaren Campus, comprising the McLaren Technology Centre, McLaren Production Centre and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre, is an iconic, world-class facility that will remain our home in the future.”
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A sale and leaseback deal would allow the automaker to squeeze out a little bit of savings as part of its debt restructuring plan, and in return, they don’t even have to go anywhere—as long as they pay their rent.
Still, it’s an alarming sign to see a company that’s only seen growth and success with an ever-expanding lineup over the last few years, and with big plans to completely overhaul its technology going forward into electrification, still have to shake the couch for change, as it were.
I’m not going to wax too poetic about a building, but for something that’s so iconic to the brand, and designed so specifically for McLaren, for the automaker to lose literal ownership over it is a sad moment to reckon with.