Porsche dealers must learn how to serve women
Sullivan: Tight inventory hurt.
Porsche is forecasting that its U.S. sales will be 50,000 by 2018. That would be up 43 percent from the 35,043 units sold in 2012 and roughly double its 2010 level.
The introduction of the redesigned 911 and Boxster last year and the promise of more vehicles coming this year are spurring U.S. sales momentum.
Tight inventory hurt some of last year's sales gains, says Mike Sullivan, a member of the Porsche Board of Regents and owner of Pacific Porsche in Torrance, Calif.
Porsche sold 35,043 units in the United States last year, an increase of 21 percent over 2011.
"We could have jumped by 10 to 12 percent more if we'd had more cars," Sullivan says.
The sales spurt Porsche has experienced also brings the need for dealership improvements such as expanded service bays and a better grasp on providing service to female customers. That's because the brand increasingly is geared toward women, Sullivan says.
"The thing we all need to do the most is learn how to take care of a female consumer better," Sullivan says. "Women behave differently and have different expectations than I do."
And because of Porsche's German racing heritage, Sullivan says, "we were historically a guy car."
For example, he says, most men won't mind getting dirty to check the oil level regularly as required on most high-performance engines.
"A woman will say, 'I won't do that,'" Sullivan says. "In the new 911, you push a lever and it tells you what the oil level is. But to get to that screen is a bit cumbersome. ... So the manufacturer has to build it simpler and we have to do a better job of explaining it in the showroom."
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