Porsche's ambitious plan to double its new-car sales is good news for the brand's dealers. Bernhard Maier, the carmaker's board member for sales and marketing, talked with Automotive News Europe Editor-in-Chief Harald Hamprecht about plans to expand Porsche's dealer network and the effect on dealers of the ending of the EU's current block exemption regime regulating car sales.
Porsche aims to double annual unit sales to 200,000 by 2018. Will you add dealers?
There are currently about 700 Porsche centers worldwide. By 2018, 200 to 300 more are expected to join the network. So it's projected that the number of employees at our dealerships will grow from the current 14,000 to many more than 20,000.
Will this be enough for your growth plans?
Last year, we delivered about 97,000 vehicles to customers. This year, we want to break through the 100,000-unit barrier. We are intent on systematically carrying out our Strategy 2018. In this way, we can participate in the market growth that has been predicted globally and double our sales in the long term.
What are the major concerns of your dealers in Europe?
The top issue in my discussions with our sales partners is the growth they are striving for. It offers significant opportunities for dealers and importers. European car dealers are also busy with the expiration of block exemption in May 2013 and the introduction of the cross-industry vertical block exemption. In April, to take account of the change in the basic legal conditions, we informed our importers that we will implement new contracts for the roughly 300 dealers in Europe in July 2013.