We sure hope so because dealerships aren't the most fun places in the world.
It's only a matter of time before the old ways of doing things gives way to changes and evolves into something else entirely. Slowly, this is what's happening with the car buying experience. Tesla has been the first to cause major disruptions by bypassing dealers and building its own stores. This is very Silicon Valley because it's the same approach Apple applies in each modern Apple store. Porsche is now attempting its own version of disruption by opening the doors on its US headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
The $100 million dollar center will not only house offices on the land of Porsche's number one market, it will also feature an experience center where new customers can pick up their cars. This isn't so different from what other automakers do to spoil new customers, but Porsche may just have outdone its competitors with the amount of cool stuff it offers. Porsche promises a "total VIP experience." With a tour of the facility, an in-depth vehicle orientation with a specialist, a 90-minute drive on the facility's 1.6-mile racetrack, and lunch at the in-house Restaurant 356, it's easy to see how it delivers on this promise. The first customer to undergo the experience is Tracy Blumenthal, who purchased a Cayenne S E-Hybrid and opted for the experience.
Little did she know that to inaugurate the experience program, Blumenthal was going to get a ride in another hybrid, the 918 Spyder, from Porsche driver David Donohue. To undergo this process, Porsche buyers must order the car from a local dealership and tick the Porsche Experience option box. Travel expenses to the Atlanta facility must be covered by the customer, but aside from that the experience is a no cost option. Given the expected popularity of the program, reservations are limited. [Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that drivers took their own cars around the track. The cars customers take onto the track are similar models owned by the Porsche Experience Center.]