McLaren Automotive, the British producer of luxury sports and supercars, has announced the appointment of Duncan Forrester and Freddie Gilbey to the Global Communications team, creating its first Corporate and Lifestyle Communications function which will report into Global Communications Director, Wayne Bruce.
Duncan Forrester is appointed to the role of Global Corporate Communications Manager with responsibility for elevating the reputation of McLaren as a benchmark luxury automotive technology company, employer of choice for world-class engineers and an important contributor to the success of UK PLC. Duncan undertook work experience for the McLaren Formula 1™ team in 1987/88. He re-joins McLaren following 26 years in the automotive industry at dealership, national sales company and global manufacturer levels. Working for brands such as BMW in the UK and Volvo Car Group in the UK and Sweden, he was latterly Global Vice President, Product and Brand Communication. Most recently, he has developed skills outside of the sector as Managing Director of one of the most successful sports marketing agencies focused on sailing.
Reporting to Forrester in the new Corporate and Lifestyle Communications function is Freddie Gilbey as Lifestyle and Internal Communications Officer. Freddie arrives at McLaren with an extensive background in fashion and luxury PR in London, New York and the Middle East working both agency- and client-side. She joins from Nicholas Oakwell Couture, a British couture house where she was Global Communications Manager with responsibility for strategic communications, marketing, PR, social media and VIP programmes.
The appointments come at the same time as the introduction of the new Sports Series, and recognise the need for McLaren to extend its reach beyond the enthusiast motoring press and into mainstream corporate and lifestyle media and influencers, as well as engaging with government and policy-makers.
Starting on November 2, both Duncan and Freddie join the McLaren Global Communications Team at a time of unprecedented expansion and launch activity. This year, McLaren established its three tier product portfolio – Ultimate Series, Super Series and Sports Series – and launched four new models, two of which are already sold out. Tasked with doubling the volume of the brand by 2018, the Sports Series represents the most attainable McLaren to date. These hand-crafted performance cars will expose McLaren to a completely new and incremental sports car buyer, emphasising the importance of engaging with the broadest possible spectrum of media and influencers.
Commenting on the appointments, Wayne Bruce, Global Communications Director explained: ‘Both Duncan and Freddie join McLaren at an incredibly exciting time for the brand. The Ultimate Series and Super Series models have established the McLaren reputation as a manufacturer of some of the world’s finest luxury, high-performance sports cars, delivering profitability and sustainability for the company. The current launch of the new Sports Series is the next important step in the company’s development. Our ability to communicate McLaren as a company, employer and innovator as well as a luxury technology brand is going to be vital to the company’s success as we take the next steps towards our aspiration of selling 4,000 sports and supercars per year.’