It’s not Big Brother or the Patriot Act, but let’s just say Porsche will find a way to make sure you’re using its cars correctly.
Porsche isn’t shy about the biggest pet peeve it has about its wealthier clientele: the fact that some see the sports cars as an investment rather than fine pieces of machinery. In the past, it indirectly told buyers that it would cut them off if they continued to flip the cars on the market and take advantage of demand. Not wanting to sound like the Gestapo, Porsche worded its warning more kindly and was vague about the consequences, but Paul Ellis, spokesman for Porsche Cars Australia, took a different tone with Motoring when going over the specifics.
He reiterated Porsche’s position on the matter. “We’re even more mindful to make sure that we keep that pretty tight. We build those cars to be driven and enjoyed, not to be flipped for a quick profit,” said Ellis. To keep Porsches in the right hands, the automaker will be more vigilant, keeping better track of its customers and what they do with their cars and taking that information into account when the time comes to allot limited edition models. “We’re careful in many ways that we try to give those cars to the right customer. They drive the car and if they want to sell the car after five or 10 years, good on them. But to turn them around quickly while the paint’s still wet on the car, that’s not how we go about our thinking and why we build our cars.”
While we commend Porsche for its position on supercar flippers, which clearly favors enthusiasts that value cars and not the high status realm they propel drivers into, we can’t help but think that this tactic is a little creepy. “We have to be careful about what we say but it disappoints us. It disappoints us because you’re not showing your loyalty to the brand if you do that,” said Ellis. “We don’t want use of the word blacklisted and that’s not a word I’d like to use. But [profiteering] is something that we need to take into consideration.” Using the words "disappoint" in the same sentence as “us” and “we” makes Porsche sound like an iron-fisted ruler in a dystopian novel, and just like Orwell’s Big Brother, Ellis says that Porsche will be watching.
“If we can identify earlier what a customer’s intentions may be, then maybe we can take that into consideration when we do our allocation. At the end of the day it’s up to our dealers with a bit of guidance from Porsche Cars Australia,” added Ellis. Germans tend to get flak for mechanical and clinical ways of designing cars and doing business, and this behavior sure fits that archetype. Still, at the end of the day, Porsche is far from the worst. Ferrari buyers have to deal with the company as if it were a mob headed by Don Corleone, so at least Stuttgart's enemies can be thankful they don't have to sleep with the fishes if relations go south.