66 Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2018 - Page 20

M C L A R E N AU C K L A N D TA K E S OUT SECOND CONSECUTIVE D E A L E R O F TH E Y E A R AWA R D Asia-Pacific dealership award caps a successful year for the supercar brand in New Zealand, says dealer principal, Luke Neuberger. McLaren Auckland has won the McLaren Asia Pacific Retailer of the Year award for the second time in a row. The 2017 awards nomination process saw entries from across the entire McLaren retailer network, comprising 86 locations in 31 markets. All contenders were meticulously benchmarked and assessed in key areas such as sales, customer service, after-sales and marketing. McLaren Auckland subsequently emerged as the brand’s Asia Pacific Retailer of the Year 2017. Managing Director of McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific, George Biggs, commended the McLaren Auckland team for working hard to deliver a fantastic 2017 in the spiritual home of the brand. “A dedicated retailer, McLaren Auckland delivered unparalleled excellence in brand experience and continued the global success of the McLaren 720S,” he said. “I’m confident the team will have an even greater year in 2018.” Starting from zero in 2013, dealer principal Luke Neuberger says there are now over 200 18 66 MagAzine SPRING 2018 McLarens on the road in New Zealand. The dealership sold 33 cars in 2017 alone, making last year its most successful to date. With future product such as the 600LT imminent, the next 12 months are shaping up to be equally busy. And when it comes to success stories, one model has established itself firmly as a favourite among aficionados during 2018. With 20 already sold, the McLaren 720S is what Luke terms a “milestone car” for the manufacturer (see full story p90). “The 720S is a remarkable car. It has lifted everything McLaren does by several degrees and has proved immensely popular. It’s a supercar that doesn’t leave the driver wanting for anything,” he says. Luke says that a large focus for him and his team has been building the local McLaren owner’s community, which is helping to cement the brand in the minds of an increasing audience. “In a way, we have a head-start in New Zealand, what with the association of Bruce McLaren and the McLaren story. While we’re still a relatively new brand in this country when compared with other performance car marques, we do enjoy a lot of instant recognition,” continues Luke. “That doesn’t make us complacent though. There are a lot of enthusiast drivers out there who have bought cars from other marques for many years who we’re educating about what these cars are capable of in a performance setting. Yes, the name is held in high esteem, but the hardware still needs to do what’s expected of it.” The owner’s group enjoy track days and other get-togethers throughout the year. Luke is enthusiastic about the people buying McLaren cars and says the dealership is keen to foster a sense of community. Trips to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Singapore Grand Prix have been recent highlights owners have been invited to take part in. Similarly, the chance to get up close and personal with new models at preview evenings are well-attended by the brand’s growing fanbase, says Luke. “The production models we have available now in both the Sports and Super Series are all exceptional driver’s cars. The degree of