Can you please tell us a little about yourself and how long you have been with Porsche?
I joined Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE earlier this year and prior to my move here, I held the position of Vice President of Marketing at Porsche China. I have a genuine passion for sports cars and have worked in the automotive industry for luxury performance brands since I graduated from university. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in this field, and as such, I consider myself fortunate to be part of this iconic brand.
What are the challenges that you see in the Middle East market especially when it comes to market share?
Our focus in the region is to always place the customer at the heart of our operations. As such, we strive to match their passion for Porsche with the launch of new, exciting sports cars and by offering unique brand experiences. We also work with our importers across the region to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction. In terms of After Sales this means we conduct regular mystery shopping and feedback surveys, because only by talking to our customers, can we further enhance our service. We will continue to do this and continuously strive for further enhancements all round.
When will the new electric Porsche Taycan be launched and why would consumers consider it vs other electric car vehicles in the market?
The global unveiling of the Taycan will take place in September, with the model then set to arrive across the GCC in 2020. As is always the case with all Porsche sports cars, the objective was to offer the sportiest vehicle regardless of segment, and I can assure you that this is exactly what has been achieved with the Taycan. As the brand’s first fully electric car, it will offer the same impressive performance, driving pleasure, quality build and iconic design that is synonymous with the Porsche brand. The Taycan will be a game changer.
Are there any plans for future 911 models to go electric?
At Porsche, evolution will always have an authentic link to the brand’s history. Porsche is and always will remain a manufacturer of premium sports cars, with the pleasure of driving at the very core of its mission. As such, our strategy will be to continue with a three-pronged approach, which incorporates optimized combustion engines, plug-in hybrid models and purely electric sports cars – all in typical Porsche style and design language.
Porsche is on record vowing to keep the GT3 models naturally aspirated. How much more power can these engines develop?
Innovation is a big part of what we do and we are always striving to improve our engines; whether for motorsport or road-legal sports cars. Our engineers and designers work tirelessly to ensure that whichever model we offer to our loyal base of enthusiasts, is the best it can be.
The Porsche 911 Carrera launch was a highly anticipated event. In what way is this next-generation model different from the previous versions?
Quite simply, the new 911 Carrera line-up is faster, more powerful and more efficient than ever before. The eighth generation really highlights the design and performance evolution of our most iconic sports car. For example, the Carrera S with its turbocharged flat-six engine now produces 450 hp, therefore corresponding to an increase of 30 hp compared with the previous model.
Its new design now showcases a more muscular look that pays tribute to the past, while also embracing the future. It is the best 911 Porsche has ever produced and successfully maintains the 911’s status as a pure driver’s car that also offers everyday usability and unique design.
From the consumer perspective, what do the consumers here care about the most when buying a new Porsche?
We regard Porsche owners as enthusiasts rather than customers. They are a mix of passionate sports car fans and discerning individuals, with an appreciation for luxury vehicles as well as the unique driving pleasure associated with our models. In terms of preference, they want a dynamic sports car, without compromising on comfort and suitability for everyday driving. Our research also highlights that they desire unique design, impressive performance and enjoy the thrill of dynamic driving.
Porsche is a brand that is known for high-end vehicles focusing on speed and performance. Has this perception changed over the years at the global level and at the regional level?
Not at all. With more than 70 years of producing exclusive sports cars, Porsche continues to set new standards as a manufacturer, whilst excelling in motorsports and focusing on future innovation.
Meanwhile at the core of it all is a constant pursuit of evolution, ensuring that the next range of models continue to carry the unmistakable Porsche DNA. This is the spirit that has made Porsche what it is today.
What are some of the bestselling Porsche models in the Middle East and why?
Our most delivered models across the region in 2018 were the Macan and Cayenne. Both models have advanced in terms of comfort and driving dynamics while remaining a true sports car. Our compact SUV, the Macan has also made ownership of a Porsche possible for a new group of drivers who enjoy experiencing authentic sports car driving in daily life.
One major concern in this region is the availability of parts and the level of service for luxury customers. How does Porsche address these two concerns in this region?
Availability is dictated by factors that can vary on a case-by-case basis. Our importers across the region stock a selection of fast-moving parts and in scenarios where stock is not available, the service team will place an order with our headquarters in Germany. The request process is always quick and seamless, with the guarantee that the parts delivered are Porsche tested and approved.
Therefore, the main variables in this process are related to distance and country specific regulations such as customs clearance. With that in mind, our service centers adhere to the mantra of ‘Performance Maintained’, meaning that Porsche will always operate efficient and transparent standards of work, that are geared towards offering a smooth ownership experience for Porsche customers regardless of location.
It is now legal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia. Have you developed any special campaigns targeting women motorists in Saudi Arabia?
Porsche is currently offering the most diverse line up of sports cars in the brand’s history, which cater to a variety of individual needs and preference. As such, it is great that women in Saudi now also have the opportunity to own and experience their Porsche of choice first-hand. As part of our marketing efforts, we deliver in-market experiential events, such as the Porsche World Roadshow, which returned to the Kingdom earlier this year. Open to all enthusiasts, the sessions were aimed at helping participants advance their track skills whilst giving them the opportunity to sample the power, technical innovation and ride comfort of the full Porsche range.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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