LAS VEGAS -- Porsche Cars North America starts a four-city tour this month to talk with dealers about how they'll handle the coming wave of new products and whether they need to expand and modernize.
Beginning Feb. 20, Porsche executives will visit dealers for one-on-one sessions to discuss store targets and facility plans, said COO Michael Bartsch. "It is about giving the dealers a long-term perspective on our business plans, where we are now, where we want to be in the mid-term in 2015 and where we want to be in 2018."
Porsche expects U.S. sales to grow to about 50,000 units as part of the brand's worldwide target to increase sales 50 percent above 2010 levels by 2018. U.S. sales are likely to grow to 35,000 units this year, up from 29,023 in 2011.
Bartsch said the discussions will focus on the anticipated growth in volume. "We'll ask, 'Do you need extra showroom space, extra workshop bays or extra people?' It's not about today. This is something that needs to be done in the next two to three years."
Porsche management also will discuss whether a dealer needs to expand or improve a facility, said Bartsch. But the brand is not rolling out a new facility program; dealers will continue to use design standards in the existing Porsche Corporate Identity Program, he said.
"Our brand compliance standards will be no different over the next five years than what they are now," he said.
Mike Sullivan, owner of Pacific Porsche in Santa Monica, Calif., sells 400 new and 400 used cars annually. He said the facility changes will be "a bit of negotiation."
"We don't disagree about the expansion -- but perhaps the current design is not conducive to an easy change. The showroom won't be an easy 'pop that out.'"
Porsche is launching vehicles in new segments in the next few years, including a small SUV due in late 2012 or early 2013. The redesigned 911 and Boxster sports cars go on sale this year. Sullivan said Porsche also is likely to build a sedan based on the Panamera four-door with coupe styling and possibly a sports car above the 911 that would compete with Ferrari.