Always more. Chilean businessman Eduardo Costabal was leading Centro Porsche Barcelona a couple of years ago with the support of South American group Ditec until he decided to go solo and bet on sports cars. “Factors were coming together. I fell in love with the city and its history with motorsports. I was looking for something more advanced on a technical and technological level… and McLaren wasn’t in Spain, Portugal and Andorra”. Today, now at the front of McLaren Barcelona, these three countries are his main markets.
Everything started in a small garage and sales room while he was building its current headquarters in l’Hospitalet, that opened right before the pandemic hit and were a 3.5M euros investment. The virus pushed away clients for the car dealership, but opened the Internet gates. Nevertheless, sales got closed. “The business has decreased but we believe we can achieve the same numbers of last year”, claims Costabal.
The plan is to repeat the billing of 15 million and close with profit. During the first half of the year, the numbers have been “quite similar”. 50 cars were sold in the last financial period, 30 of them by McLaren, the crown jewel. Their price range from 200.000 euros to 2 million, and all of them bring the speed from circuits to the city streets. The other 20 were classic and used cars, one of the other lines of business. Vehicle sales account for 85% of the income and workshop and tuning services account for 15%. “We are in a niche market that allows you to access more people if you do a good job, but we are not a high-volume brand”, says Costabal.
The brand plans an expansion to Madrid, where it already has a satellite showroom, and Oporto. Although it will depend on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, Costabal comments that “in the next 24 months we will need to have it sorted out. We want to be stable, with something we can see, control and make decisions day by day”.
The brand, with 12 employees, is in charge of distribution, marketing, campaigns and events in Spain. Clients are “mostly” foreigners of all ages that live in the country, including football players and first level athletes. Costabal wants them to live an “experience” when they visit the venue, instead of feeling like it is another car dealership. In its 3.000 m2 there is a mix of sports cars, classic cars, special cars and racing cars. One of the three floors is a museum with every object that Costabal has collected during his four decades in the sector. Racing suits, helmets, bikes and documents of every great World Champion. The idea is to capitalize on it with ticket sales or renting for other venues.
Regarding the future influence of hybrid and electrical cars, Costabal states that “it will evolve based on needs”. The main headquarters at McLaren announced earlier this week that it will no longer sell petrol engine cars from 2035 on. Ready to welcome to any challenge, Costabal keeps himself positive.