So, you’ve saved up enough for that Porsche Tacyan EV you’ve dreamed about, but the thought of haggling at a dealership gives you the chills. While a Porsche showroom probably doesn’t seem like a bad place to spend time to most people, the company is now giving its customers the option of mostly bypassing its retailers when buying their next car.
- For the first time, Porsche shoppers can purchase a vehicle online.
- The pilot program is initially being offered at 25 Porsche dealerships around the country.
- It joins Porsche Passport, the company’s subscription service, in offering customers non-traditional ways to buy a new car.
Porsche buyers can now choose to bypass most of the dealership experience. (Photo: Porsche)
A pilot online purchase program is now being offered at 25 of Porsche’s 191 dealerships across the U.S. Shoppers can browse used and new cars in the dealer’s stock, then set about completing almost the entire purchase online. There are a couple catches, however. To start, you will need to do some scanning and photographing of personal documents, like a driver’s license, to be sent to the participating dealership. Photos and a detailed description of any potential trade-in must also be included in the shopper-to-dealership correspondence.
And yes, a visit to the dealership is still required to finalize the purchase, sign the final paperwork, and take delivery of the car. Porsche says it is considering an option to streamline the process further, by delivering vehicles directly to a shopper’s home or work address. A nearly identical sales program is being implemented in Germany, too.
Porsche is most famous for building sports cars, but SUVs, such as the Macan, make up the vast majority of its sales. (Photo: Porsche USA)
“Offering our customers an enhanced digital option for acquiring a Porsche makes this experience even more accessible and more convenient,” said Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG, in a press release.
For now, Porsche says online sales are strictly in a wait-and-see mode, to gauge the program’s success before considering a nationwide expansion.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Established automakers have long sought to sell directly to the public, but contracts with their existing dealer networks, most of whom enjoy strong protection from state franchise laws, have stymied the efforts. Tesla has successfully broken the dealer stranglehold in many states, and its no-hassle sales policies are every bit as desirable as its cars for some buyers. Porsche intends to compete with Tesla in the EV market, and so it needs to do what it can to ensure a similarly convenient buying experience.