Porsche is launching a “new corporate architecture” for its Porsche Centers worldwide. Following the marketing slogan “Destination Porsche,” dealerships are “intended to become a central gathering place” for Porsche people, thereby appealing to current as well as new customers (it’s hoped). The new architecture is characterized by its flexibility, its use of digital media for individualized communication, and its emphasis on the “ brand experience’ all automakers are touting.
It seems that every time Porsche executives get bored they go shopping for a new, and decidedly more expensive look. The first Porsche Experience Center opened on the factory grounds in Leipzig in 2002. It was followed by Silverstone (UK, 2008), Atlanta (USA, 2015), Le Mans (France, 2015), and Los Angeles (USA, 2016). A new center in Shanghai (China) was added in April 2018. (View AutoInformed on Porsche Opens Experience Center in Los Angeles)
The first accoutrements of the latest German fashion season has celebrated its Grand Opening in Palm Springs, California. The dealership was constructed within one year and only shows the way for future changes within the framework of “Destination Porsche.” The complete concept can be experienced by mid-2020 in two Porsche Centers that are underway in Dortmund and in Hangzhou, China.
“Destination Porsche shows one of the ways we can answer the challenges of changing consumer preferences and the evolution of automotive retail,” claims Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. “Porsche stands for life dreams and for a strong community of our friends and fans. We are designing our Porsche dealerships to be forward-looking gathering places to experience the brand.”
The concept for “Destination Porsche” is allegedly based on changing customer needs. Porsche says its growing product lineup of SUVS and passenger cars forces communication with specific target groups, while the wish for individualization means that a higher degree of flexibility is necessary. The Porsche Centers of tomorrow will consist of several content areas that can be flexibly designed, and in which digital media can help address customers individually. They will become places to experience and touch the brand.
The design of future Porsche Centers recycles the structure of current ones and completes it with further developed and new elements. The interior style remains timeless (unlike the centers?) so that attention is focused on the displayed vehicles. This used to be called a showroom. Also, the fundamental form typical of current dealerships will remain which sounds like Porsche trying to place its dealers who will have to pay the, well growing shipping and handling costs. This from a German company that one tried to fire its dealerships – until the lawsuits appeared.
The renewed exterior aluminum façade (oh, new taillights, bold grille and colors?) opens up in partial areas, presenting a look inside the facility – this used to be called windows and window shopping until Porsche raised its prices. This creates <marketing babble alert> “a welcoming impression that is supported by the elevated glass façade on the ground level. The aluminum panels above the main entrance as well as red LED lighting emphasize the, ahem, dynamics of the fixed facade.
Customers are presented inside with various themed modules that can be flexibly adapted. This, allegedly, makes the interior easy to customize towards regional or individual characteristics. The modules represent for instance current Product Highlights, E-Performance (does that mean how long it runs until the battery dies?) or Certified Pre-Owned cars.
Another focus is on social spaces with a newly created lounge area where customers and fans can, well, “ come together.” Through a large window, they can glance into the workshop – similar to the “look inside the kitchen” in a restaurant. Part of the sensory assault with which customers can virtually experience their own car configuration include touch screens that will also make the products and services of the Porsche brand come alive in an interactive way.