Porsche has had early success with its subscription program because its cars are sought after and the model lineup is diverse, said Robert DiStanislao, president of Porsche of the Main Line in suburban Philadelphia and a member of the Porsche Dealer Board of Regents.
"People responding to [Passport] are well-heeled, successful, younger customers that would ultimately come to our brand, but have an opportunity to experience our brand sooner than possibly they would have naturally gravitated toward us," DiStanislao said.
About 80 percent of the people who use the program are new to the brand, according to Porsche. Passport customers are 5 years younger on average than Porsche's typical new-car buyer, the automaker is discovering. They also have more disposable income. Subscription members make, on average, $100,000 more annually than Porsche's new-car buyers.
The subscription program's future hinges on dealer buy-in. Porsche manages the program along with Atlanta-based Clutch Technologies. So far, some dealers are indifferent.
DiStanislao questions the need for a subscription model.
Every Porsche car allotted to the U.S. is sold, the dealer said. "If all of our cars are sold, why do we have to create new models?" he said.
DiStanislao said he is not concerned about the subscription program siphoning sales from the dealer network.
Passport volumes, he said, are "not a substantial amount in any way to affect our business."