Thursday, March 23, 2017

Porsche eyes expansion with digital showrooms


As Porsche launched its sixth model in just over a year on Wednesday, the sports luxury car brand is creating its brand presence felt in the country with hundreds of organised drives for customers and by creating digital showrooms.
While 2016 didn’t fare too well for the luxury car market, Porsche did considerably well despite being in the higher end of the luxury segment.
“While the luxury car market declined by about 6 per cent last year, we were able to maintain almost flat growth through 2016, thanks to the new launches with the help of which we now have a complete portfolio,” Pavan Shetty, Director, Porsche India, told BusinessLine.
In 2015, Porsche sold 408 cars in the country, while in 2016, it sold 401, most of which were priced well over ₹1 crore.
But just launches were not enough for the German brand, which has been focusing on creating stronger connect with the customer.
“We did close to 140 customer events last year. We also started doing brunch drives for Porsche owners. It is getting people together. It is a mandate for all six dealerships to have such drives at least once in two months. All of this are showing benefits now as people want to be a part of such exclusive clubs are interested in buying a Porsche to do that,” Shetty said.
Porsche is also expanding its footprint by launching dealerships in Chennai and Hyderabad in the next two months.
To reach other parts of the country, the company is looking at building digital showrooms wherein small pop-up stores could be created with minimal investments.
“Instead of focusing on higher numbers, we want to focus on profitability while ensuring happy customers and stronger customer satisfaction, creating a structure for the future — getting digital experience solution at places where customers don’t have access to a dealership,” Shetty said.
Last year, Porsche entered into the sub-one crore segment with the launch of Porsche Macan, which is bringing more buyers into the Porsche domain. Shetty feels if there are any positive changes made in the tax structure for luxury cars, the market which is less than one per cent of the overall car market in India, will explode.
On Wednesday Porsche launched its fully redeveloped second generation Panamera Turbo in India for price starting ₹1.93 crore ex-showroom Maharashtra.
“The only three things common in the old and the new Panamera are the name, the idea of having a sports car in the luxury saloon segment and the Porsche crest-rest everything has changed,” Shetty said.
The car comes with a new display wherein touch-sensitive surfaces replace classic hard keys, and high-resolution displays merge into the interior.
The Panamera Turbo engine has been redesigned to produce more power, whilst improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. Panamera Turbo’s new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 develops 550 hp at 5,750 rpm, with a maximum torque of 770 Nm between 1,960 and 4,500 rpm. It has 30 hp more than its predecessor as well as a torque increase of 70 Nm. The vehicle accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, whilst with the Sport Chrono Package the sprint time is down to 3.6 seconds.
The new turbo model features a top speed of 306 km/h.

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