Going online isn't the only new trend.
The global pandemic has forced automakers to alter course in their sales models. Instead of making customers walk into traditional dealerships for their new vehicle purchases, they can now do the bulk of the transaction entirely online. There are also subscription services. Not having to leave the comfort of one's own home suits many people. This doesn't mean the old school car dealer is going extinct, but perhaps it just needs to be modified somewhat. Porsche has done just that.
The German automaker says it's opened six Porsche Studios and 11 temporary pop-ups called Porsche NOW in 2021, averaging more than one new location monthly in 23 countries. These new dealers are described as "boutique" locations and, so far, they seem to be doing very well.
Porsche plans to open over 25 studios in major cities by 2023, such as the one set to open its doors in Portland, Oregon this spring. This is the first such location in all of North America.
"With the urban sales formats, we have sought and found new ways to reach customers," says Marco Kana, Director Sales Retail at Porsche. "Whether it is a Porsche Studio or one of our Porsche NOW sales pop-ups, these innovative formats offer easy access to the brand and are ideally suited to developing contact opportunities with new target groups. We will continue to develop these innovative retail formats over the coming years."
The target audience is younger buyers in general. Porsche doesn't say whether every current model, be it a 911 or a Taycan, can be purchased at these locations but we don't see any reason why not. The Studios are permanent locations while the NOW stores, the first of which opened in 2018 in Dubai, are temporary.
What's clever about these smaller stores, permanent or not, is that they offer an opportunity to have a dealer that doesn't require additional capacity because the local market is too small for a full-scale Porsche Center. The carmaker is further serving clients with service facilities for new and used Porsches alike. Trained technicians are required to be on staff as the space is mostly devoted to maintenance-related issues.