TIMES might be tough but when the latest McLaren dealership opened its doors this week it did so secure in the knowledge that it had already taken deposits from more than 70 customers anxious to get their hands on one of the new £168,500, 200 mph supercars.
The £5million luxury showroom on Stratford Road in Hockley Heath near Birmingham is one of just three in the UK selected to sell the McLaren MP4-12C carbon fibre sports car.
Just 1,000 cars will be made in the first year for worldwide distribution - and all have been sold despite the fact that customers have not yet been able to drive the car and many have never even seen one.
Sales director David Tibbetts said that even though McLaren Birmingham served a large area - the other two centres are in London and Manchester - 75 per cent of people who had put deposits down for the cars lived within 10-15miles of the dealership.
The stunning rear-wheel-drive two-seater is reputed to be the nearest thing you can get to driving Formula 1 technology on the road.
It's a real eye-catcher with its huge doors which open upwards and outwards and is suitable for the road or the track.
Mike Buffey, the franchise managing director of McLaren Birmingham, said there had been phenomenal interest in the car.
"We are getting people trading in Ferraris, Porsches and numerous other premium cars for the new McLaren and our first customers will have theirs delivered at the end of this month," he said.
Half of the new showroom, an enterprise of Rybrook Holdings Ltd, is exclusively McLaren, while the other half is the new Rolls-Royce dealership for the Midlands.
One customer who had already bought a £235,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost then walked a few steps into the McLaren showroom and placed a deposit for an MP4-12C.