Per Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG, "(i)n recent years, China has become Porsche's largest single market. Our four-door sports cars are especially popular in Asia but demand for our two-seater models is also increasing rapidly.” While it isn't surprising, considering the population and rapid economic growth, seeing China surpass the United States as Porsche's largest market is still remarkable. Porsche recently opened its 100th sales location in China, this time in Guangzhou.
An Expanding Market For A Large Population
In addition to being the world's most populous nation, Chinese cities are among the largest in the world. Guangzhou, site of the latest Porsche center, has a population of nearly 14 million in the city's administrative zone. That does not tell the whole story however, as Guangzhou is not situated by itself. Traditionally known to Westerners as Canton, Guangzhou is part of the Pearl River Megacity. The neighboring cities of Foshan, Dongguan and Fenshen give the greater metropolitan area a population of more than 44 million. This mega-city has a population more than double New York State, and the populace is very interested in Porsches.
In addition to enthusiastically consuming 4-door Porsche models, the Chinese market is very keen on Boxsters and Caymans. More than 5,100 718s were delivered in China in the first three quarters of 2017. 911 sales are also on the rise in China, and increased showroom space is key to facilitating this growth. To serve the Guangzhou market the new Porsche sales center covers approximately 460 square meters (roughly 5,000 square feet).
The new sales center will work in conjunction with an existing Porsche Center in the area, run by the Jebsen Group. The new facility includes a car configuration center, where Porsche models can be ordered to a customer's desired specification using an iPad. Porsches can be purchased directly on-site, either to-order or from existing stocks. The new facility is built on several levels, and appears fiercely modern.
“It combines the traditional Porsche spirit with the power of new technology. In China’s increasingly volatile and dynamic business environment, we believe that such futuristic digital offerings will strengthen the brand, encourage creative customer experiences and attract new partners,' said Mr. Franz Jung, President and CEO of Porsche China, of the new facility.
Other Developments in China
In addition to this new Sales Center, Porsche has also opened an Experience Centre in Shanghai. The Shanghai Center began construction in 2012, and opened last year. The Shanghai Centre is the sixth Experience Centre worldwide, and the first in China. It features both road-course modules, and an off-road course. “Although we live in a digital age, the ability to offer a true driving experience has not lost any of its significance for Porsche – quite the opposite in fact”, adds Detlev von Platen. "Our experience centers in Europe and America are an important part of our sales landscape. Opening another site in Asia is a logical step given the increasing importance of this market region.”