Sales debate: How should Porsche stop cars going to speculators?
Historically, Porsche Centres have used a ‘first come first served’ system for choosing the allocation of limited production models such as the latest 911 GT3 RS. “We always felt it was very fair to have a letter of intention,” explains Karl Meyer, business manager at Porsche Bournemouth.
“And, if you’re number one on the list you get the first. If you’re sixth, you get number six.” However, the speed with which examples of the latest Rennsport have reached the second-hand market has shown that something needs to be done to stop true enthusiasts losing out to speculators.
Both Meyer and Mark Sumpter, proprietor of Paragon (and soon to be a 991 GT3 RS owner) agree there are no legal avenues that Porsche can pursue. “The customer has to own the car and, once they own it, they can’t do this thing where they say, ‘You can’t sell it for six months’,” Sumpter explains.
“All they can do is make it harder the next time.” The latter seems especially key to the Porsche expert, who points out that, “the guys that do flip the cars don’t seem to get punished.”
Therefore, the Paragon owner would like to see Porsche compile a list of those who quickly sell on their cars and prevent them from further purchases, something he admits would be difficult “if that guy has been in recently and bought a Cayenne Turbo and a Panamera and then wants an RS.”
Meyer explains that Porsche doesn’t want to let it get to that stage, though. “We’ll be looking at Porsche CVs, looking at what cars people have,” he explains. However, the business manager doesn’t want the process “to be so elite that the same seven or eight people get the cars all the time.”
Increasing production runs is not something that either expert believes would help. While Sumpter feels it may help slightly, it could lead to a repeat of the issue seen with 996 GT2s:
“Porsche did a second production run but by the time those cars hit the dealerships, most of the first production run were up for sale. Suddenly, they had to discount those because there were too many GT2s for the market.” Meanwhile, Meyer feels that the limited production mentality is needed to maintain balance for Porsche’s volume aspirations in the SUV market.
From his own experiences with buying a new Carrera GT, Sumpter hypothesises that creating more of an “experience” from the sales process may prevent speculators. “If they said, ‘There’s a year lead up to it and we’d like you to come out to Geneva’, the true fans would think it was fantastic,” he explains.
“If there were four meetings over 12 months and you had to go to half of them.” This would also allow Porsche to vet potential customers, all while making buyers more invested in their purchase. It’s a left-field idea, but it may just work.
For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.