José María Herrera
Director General
McLaren México and Lotus México
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Insight

Prestigious Dealer Brings Racing Technology to Mexico

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 15:04

When an individual’s entrepreneurism blooms at a very young age, the results can be outstanding. When he was just 14 years old, Javier Herrera took the first steps toward building a relationship between Herrera Motors, McLaren, and Lotus. Without telling his father and brothers, he scheduled an appointment with the global director of Lotus where he presented his family and the experience they had in the Mexican automotive market. Soon afterward, he did it again with the global director of McLaren, laying the foundations for a project that he would consolidate five years later. Both directors visited Mexico several times before finally deciding that Herrera Motors was the best option to commercialize their vehicles in the country.

With 75 years of history, Herrera Motors is one of the oldest dealership groups in Mexico. That amount of experience combined with young Javier Herrera’s initiative were the deciding factors that made McLaren and Lotus entrust their vehicles to the group. José María Herrera, Javier’s brother, has since become Director General of both brands in Mexico, and he has huge expectations for them in the domestic market. “We are really excited to grow alongside both brands here in Mexico, and it is surprising how readily the public has accepted both Lotus and McLaren,” says Herrera. While this is the first time that McLaren has introduced its vehicles to Mexico, Lotus had previously tried to enter the market without much luck. Even so, Lotus no longer has any doubts about Mexico and, after a complete renovation proposed by its new CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the brand is ready to establish a strong presence in Mexico. Located in Santa Fe, McLaren and Lotus’ showroom is now the only exhibition point for these vehicles in the country. However, Herrera Motors has plans to extend its presence to Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, and all major cities in Mexico.

Both McLaren and Lotus represent the power and prestige of Formula 1, which is one of the main reasons they have attracted the attention of Mexican drivers, according to Herrera. “McLaren is the pinnacle of design, sensation, and technology, and its technology is significantly ahead of other supercars in the market,” explains Herrera. “Lotus on the other hand, has the advantage of being a unique product in the market, with characteristics that no other brand can provide. It is the only vehicle with a mechanical transmission, mechanical drive, and an aluminum chassis completely assembled with aerospace-level adhesives, providing a weight of around one tonne.” Interestingly enough, these brands were the first ones to use a carbon fiber MonoCell for their bodywork, and are both continuously undergoing a forward-thinking innovation process. “When considering weight versus power, there is nothing in the market that can compare to these two brands.

The McLaren 650 has a V8 3.8l engine with double turbocharger and 641hp, weighing in at approximately 1,200kg, which is 200kg lighter than the competition. The carbon fiber chassis is far better than any alloy, and its hydraulically independent suspension absorbs road irregularities in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, its exterior design is equally spectacular and every detail is an abstraction of McLaren’s logo. In the Lotus range, the Exige has a 3.5l V6 supercharged engine capable of providing 445hp, which delivers amazing track performance. Furthermore, this vehicle is sufficiently comfortable for daily use, and it has had a fantastic reception in Mexico. Lotus’ other models have also seen success, with the Lotus Elise having a significant impact on customers, and the Lotus Evora being the brand’s top-selling product. The Evora has the same engine as the Exige, but possesses the electronics and equipment of a daily car, which could be the secret to its success in Mexico,” explains Herrera. In terms of new releases, McLaren’s launch of the 675 has resulted in Herrera Motors selling two units in Mexico, with delivery dates scheduled for the last quarter of 2015. This version is similar to the 650, but with 100kg less weight. It has 661hp and can reach 100km/h in 2.9 seconds or 200km/h in 7.9 seconds. Lotus will also bring the new 675 LT to Mexico, as well as launching the new 570 by the end of 2015 with a base price of US$238,000. McLaren, on the other hand, introduced the P1 to the world stage, but since there were only 25 units in the entire world, none of them could be sold in Mexico. However, there are plans to introduce a new model between the 650 and the P1 that will compete directly with the Lamborghini Aventador. Meanwhile, Lotus investors are placing a large amount of resources in several new improvements in terms of engines and equipment planned for 2016, while there are rumors of a new Lotus SUV.

The highly anticipated return of Formula 1 to Mexico makes 2015 a tremendously memorable year for both brands. “Mexico has a strong Formula 1 culture, and it is amazing to see how some customers know at least as much about our products as we do,” states Herrera. Even with its four independent branches of McLaren Technology, McLaren Aerodynamics, McLaren Automotive, and McLaren F1, McLaren is committed to bringing at least some part of the Formula 1 experience to its consumer vehicles.