As a child, when a candy shop opens in your own backyard it is cause for joyous celebration followed by overzealous excitement followed by conspicuous consumption. As an adult, things remain the same except the candy shop is replaced by the largest Porsche dealership in Canada.
On Tuesday evening FLATSIXES.com had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Porsche Centre Oakville, a sprawling facility located near the QEW and Third Line just west of Toronto. The centre is the crown jewel in a line of dealerships under the Policaro Automotive brand. It is the most technologically advanced in the country and perhaps the best appointed, featuring a full gourmet kitchen, café, lounge, and Porsche Classic Service area. Upon stepping into the 22-car showroom the intention behind Porsche's dealer strategy is immediately apparent; the building design should be about the cars while the extras disappear into the background. Massive murals of Porsche's current model offering grace the walls high above structure encircling glass. Clean, abrupt lines, neutral colours, and towering ceilings ensure that the machines are accentuated above all else. Though to be fair, the machines in attendance at this event would be the focal point of any showroom, or really any physical space for that matter.
Perhaps overwhelming said machinery was the man who guided me, the Urban Outlaw himself, Magnus Walker. My meeting with him will be outlined in a more detailed article but for now I can attest to the fact that his politeness and charisma belie his rather intimidating appearance.
Entering a separate area I was greeted by two 930 Turbo's (one with over 1 million kilometers), a white 356 Roadster, a 1984 Rothmans rally-spec 911, a 996 Turbo, a 944, and most interestingly, the mechanical star of Urban Outlaw, a 1971 track-ready 911.
Not to be outdone by ancestry, the main showroom featured a brand new Cayman, Boxster S, Cayenne GTS, and Carrera 4S Cab, all finished in classic metallic silver. With the sunlight dimming, the showroom, now bathed in deep blue light, began welcoming a few important figures from the Porsche family.
Following a welcoming message from Francesco Policaro, general manager, the stage was taken by Alexander Pollich, Porsche Canada's president and CEO. He outlined Porsche Centre Oakville's status as being the most technologically advanced dealership in the country, explaining that it is pre-wired for more charging stations than any other Porsche facility.
The facility has fully automated LED lighting, heating, and air-conditioning, and water powered lifts in the service area. Mr. Pollich expressed Porsche's continuing commitment to hybrid technology, noting the impressive fuel mileage of the new Panamera S E-hybrid and also speaking of the green technology behind the new 918 supercar. Satisfying the driver's present he did not fail to mention the 918's blistering Nürburgring lap time of 6:57. Though by directing so much attention to Porsche's green technology I felt his speech was perhaps an allusion to the overall proliferation of hybrid models, including possibly the 911. This remains to be seen.
Following Mr. Pollich we had the opportunity to hear from Bernard Maier, member of the executive board of Porsche AG. Maier essentially outlined Porsche's intentions to dominate the market in North America explaining that sales are the strongest they have ever been in Canada which will only be strengthened by an upcoming free trade agreement with the EU and also by the introduction of the new Macan SUV. Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche North America, observed from the crowd in approving patriarchal form.
Remarkable buildings, speeches, beautiful women, free beer, and important figures make for a superbly impressive event. Yet we must not forget that beneath the glamor of such events is the foundation of a sporting heritage that has made Porsche the behemoth it currently is. Porsche Centre Oakville appears as though it will be a monumental force in North America. Now that the ribbon has been cut, their next event must involve blaring exhaust and screeching tires in place of clinking glasses.
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