ATLANTA -- Angela Lanier has bought four Porsche 911s from Hennessy Porsche North Atlanta over the last 12 years. On Aug. 21, she figured out what her fifth purchase likely will be.
"I wasn't planning on purchasing another car anytime soon," Lanier said. But after instructors at the Porsche Experience Center here took her for hot laps on the center's test track in three 911 variants at a party hosted by the dealership, Lanier said she now is "thinking of buying a GT3."
Such reactions are what Atlanta dealer Peter Hennessy wanted to tap into when Porsche Cars North America opened its new U.S. headquarters and experience center in May on a site next to busy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. His dealership has hosted two events at the venue since May and given out more than a dozen gift cards so customers can drive the track's six modules.
"It's a huge asset for not only the brand but for our operation in Atlanta," Hennessy said. "Whenever anybody lands at the airport, to look out and see that facility and commitment, that elevates people's perception of the brand."
That's exactly the kind of dealer buy-in Porsche's U.S. chief, Detlev von Platen, was seeking when he proposed the $100 million project. Since the early-May opening and a dealer program at the venue late that month, dealer bookings have been strong, von Platen said. Each of Porsche's 189 U.S. dealerships got two free gift cards, good for sessions at the track, plus the ability to buy more at a discounted rate.