High times for U.S. McLaren dealers

Commissioning areas, where customers can go through options to spec out a vehicle, have become a focal point. Some stores have a “Woking Window,” Brown said, which is a video feed of the McLaren Production Center in Woking, England, where each vehicle is assembled.

Robert DiStanislao, president of RDS Automotive of Newtown Square, Pa., is one of those early dealers reinvesting in the brand. DiStanislao said he was one of the brand’s original U.S. dealers with McLaren Philadelphia in West Chester, Pa.

In 2017, DiStanislao’s group acquired McLaren Newport Beach, a “very small boutique” on the Pacific Coast Highway in California, he said. In 2021, RDS Automotive moved the dealership to a temporary spot before its new, larger showroom in nearby Irvine, Calif., became operational in December.

“McLaren has done a remarkable job in a little more than 10 years to be a brand that is discussed in the same sentence as Ferrari and Lamborghini,” DiStanislao said.

Pietro Frigerio, dealer principal of the group’s McLaren Newport Beach store, said the dealership’s previous building was around 3,000 square feet, but it was just a showroom, as service was completed elsewhere.

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