Porsche Aiming to Expand Commitment to Classic Cars

High-end sports cars are much more likely to endure the onslaught of time that inevitably forces most automobiles into the junkyard. Why such vehicles might not all serve as pampered automotive “investments” for wealthy individuals, most are still well cared for and subject to fewer harsh winters and daily commutes than their mainstream counterparts.

Porsche claims that over 70 percent of all vehicles it has ever manufactured are still in operation today and the majority of those cars reside in the United States, not Europe. As a result, the automaker wants to expand its Porsche Classic operations in the region — helping owners keep their vintage machines in pristine condition while earning dealerships some side cash in the process. 

Currently, there are just 10 certified Porsche Classic dealerships in America. The designation allows those locations to perform factory-sanctioned work similar to the firm’s restoration centers in Atlanta and Stuttgart — albeit slightly less extensive. According to Automotive News, the brand intends to reach out to the nearly 200 other dealerships populating the region to see if they’d also like to join the program. North American CEO Klaus Zellmer told the outlet that the project was Porsche’s fastest-growing business in the U.S., swelling by 10 percent annually, but was unable to give specifics for how many shops the brand was targeting for the restoration business.

“What I can tell you is, I think there needs to be a lot more,” the CEO said. “Strategically speaking, we need to ramp up our game because that’s a business field where we can still grow.”

Porsche vehicles that qualify as “classics” in the eyes of the manufacturer need to have matured 10 years after the model was discontinued. For example, a 2008 Porsche 911 won’t be considered eligible until 2022 as the 997 Series didn’t officially end production until 2012. With brand sales exploding in the early 2000s, and then again following the Great Recession, the company is about to see a massive influx of eligible models.

“The business here in the States is growing at a much higher rate than anything else we do at the moment,” Zellmer said. “There’s a lot of work that we need to do here in the United States in order to take care of those wonderful pieces of art.”

Porsche considers numerous aspects before deciding upon a prospective Classic dealer. Elements include the size and age of the showroom, the store’s demographics, the quality of its technicians, the kind of servicing it already offers, and the volume of cars that go through the service department. If approved, a shop is required to invest between $65,000 to $85,000 into a “Classic Corner” for the showroom and at least one vintage Porsche has to be on display. The dealership must also host at least two classic-themed customer events annually and send its technicians and advisers out for specialized training.

That’s a lot to ask for but the end result is a shop with some added prestige that caters to longtime enthusiasts who are likely to remain loyal to the brand. Porsche also claimed that revenue accrued from the Classic business could offset the anticipated decline in service stemming from electrification.

a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com