You might have heard the rumors that McLaren is in a bit of trouble at the moment. While there are a number of theories as to why, the BBC recently reported McLaren will cut nearly 25 percent of its workforce, a move that all but confirms the supercar, racing, and engineering firm’s financial woes.
By now we’re all aware of how the ongoing pandemic has affected the livelihoods of many people who work for automakers—in addition to every single other sector of our economy—including smaller companies like McLaren. “We now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce,” McLaren chairman Paul Walsh told the BBC, “This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.”
As a result, McLaren will lay off 1,200 employees, most of whom live in the U.K. A vast majority of those will be from McLaren Automotive—the part of the company that builds its road cars. McLaren told the BBC that about 70 will come from its 800-person strong Formula 1 team.
McLaren said that while the coronavirus is part of why the racing team will shed employees, that portion of its decision has much more to do with the rules changes for 2021 that include a budget cap. Because McLaren will have less money to work with, a number of positions on the racing team have become redundant. McLaren has launched a number of new models and multimillion dollar specials on a regular basis over the last few years, but demand has dwindled in the face of the pandemic.