These are heady times for Porsche dealers.
Through November, sales for the calendar year are up 11 percent in the United States and 31 percent in Canada. The economy has been most cooperative. This follows a trend throughout the 1990s - U.S. sales in 1999 were 20,875, compared to 9,476 a decade earlier.
And Porsche is looking to further refine its sales and marketing efforts.
A new study by Diagnostic Research International of Los Angeles provided Porsche management in Atlanta with a nine-piece customer pie.
'We are looking at nine different groups of owners,' says Richard Ford, executive vice president of Porsche Cars North America Inc. 'These range from what you might call the traditionalist to the purists to those who seek private enjoyment of their Porsches.'
Survey results will affect advertising and, likely in the first quarter of 2001, dealership salespeople. Ford says training to help salespeople qualify buyers and deliver the right messages may begin early next year. Porsche has 194 dealers in the United States and 11 in Canada.
'The study is extremely important to branding and to the sales training process,' Ford says. The study indicated a greater interest among what Ford calls the 'younger, stylish, energetic set' than when a similar mindset study was conducted in 1990.
'Information technology and the dot-coms are creating more young professionals,' he says. 'In fact, there are more persons at all levels who can now afford our products.'
Typical Porsche owners have annual household incomes of at least $200,000. In addition to beautiful cars, these consumers spend their money on second homes, yachts and airplanes.