After all, the impact of the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic had hit the McLaren group’s automotive and racing operations hard – prompting it to plan for 1,200 redundancies and needing to arrange a £150 million loan off the National Bank of Bahrain.
While such measures were not ideal, they did mean at least that once the road car operation started up again and racing got underway, McLaren was able to put any financial uncertainties to one side.
So when news that a ‘For Sale’ sign was being put up at the McLaren Technology Centre, it was easy to conclude that perhaps the team’s economic situation was not as rosy as it had earlier appeared, as there was clearly a need for it to raise the £200 million it hopes to get for it.
Yet rather than this being a knee-jerk measure to get some fast cash, the factory plan has been in the offing for a while.
In fact, it has been looked at for some time by the McLaren Group’s new executive chairman Paul Walsh, who joined the Woking-based company in March just as the coronavirus lockdown trouble began.
One of Walsh’s early conclusions was that McLaren was actually the exception rather than the norm when it came to its premises, as it’s not very common for companies to actually own the buildings they operate from. For such businesses it makes…