The world of car buying seems to be changing. Between the dozens of electric car startups and traditional sellers like Volvo moving to a direct-to-consumer boutique showroom sales model, and the death of the traditional dealership model seemingly on the horizon, it makes a lot of sense that a brand like Porsche would be next on the bandwagon. This method of sales was kind of pioneered by Apple with the glass and white aesthetic of the Apple Store and Genius Bar. This idea has been pushed into the car world several times, most successfully by Tesla in recent years. If you’re going to have a high percentage of your consumers ordering their cars custom anyway, why would you even need to keep an inventory of cars on dealer showroom floors just taking up space? Enter the Porsche Studio.
Increasingly consumers are aiming for a seamless buying process where entire transactions happen online and require little (if any) paperwork. Porsche is hoping that its boutique studios will appeal to a younger up-and-coming buyer. At the same time the traditional dealerships are concerned that Porsche is leaving behind its older and more traditional buyer base. I don’t know about you, but I would think an easier buying experience would appeal to everyone, regardless of age.
Porsche already has Studios in Asia and Europe, and will be slowly rolling these out across the U.S. market. The first of many is expected to open in Portland, Oregon early next year. The aim here is to staff each Porsche Studio with highly knowledgeable product specialists, and the space will be completely devoid of sales pressure. Considering people can walk in to learn more about product, get hands-on with a car, or even check out clothing and accessories from Porsche Design, this all seems like a good thing. Porsche Cars North America CEO Kjell Gruner told Automotive News that the Studios are intended to build brand relationships more than sell cars. But if you have a relationship with Porsche, you want to own one, right?