In Fred Schwab's last make meeting as president of Porsche Cars North America Inc., he fielded questions about the Cayenne SUV and said his goodbyes.
An initial shipment of 203 Cayennes will begin arriving at North American dealerships March 15. Dealers call it national launch day, and many will host parties at their dealerships.
Ken Gorin, a member of Porsche's U.S. dealer council, which is called the Porsche Board of Regents, says he'll have a weeklong open house starting March 15. He will encourage consumers to drive the three SUVs he expects to receive initially. Gorin, owner of The Collection luxury-car dealership in Coral Gables, Fla., has orders for 95 Cayennes.
Most dealers have started, if not completed, Porsche's new design for a stand-alone dealership or at least an exclusive showroom, Schwab said. "There are always stragglers," he said.
Dealers gave the retiring president a standing ovation during the meeting.
"I felt the warmth," Schwab said. "It's been fun. These guys are my friends."
Schwab, who has had the job for a decade, will stay on as a consultant to the company after his successor takes over March 1. "I'm available when asked," he said.
His advice for his successor, Peter Schwarzenbauer: "Understand that when the dealer body does well, Porsche does just fine."