Porsche GB said its dealers are now profitable and it does not expect its 34-strong network to reduce further this year.
The assurance comes after a tough first half of 2009. In March Sytner rescued Porsche outlets in Solihull and Leicester from the collapsing Nick Whale group, and in May Lind closed its Porsche Centre in Norwich after failing to get a foothold in the fledgling territory.
Wayne Darley, Porsche GB’s man-ager of brand communications and strategy, told AM the network has recovered in the last few months to make a “single digit” return on sales.
“Dealers are now making profit. The last quarter has definitely turned for them,” he added.
Porsche’s UK registrations are down by almost a quarter this year to September.
However, Darley described demand for used Porsche models as “very strong”, adding that the network sold almost 6,000 used cars in Porsche’s last fiscal year (Aug 08-July 09).
Porsche GB’s objective of one used car sale for every one new has been achieved. Previously dealers sold twice as many new Porsches as used. However, the rebalance is partly due
to the decline in the market for new cars.
Aftersales retention is one area which Porsche can improve. Too many cars leave the network after the two year warranty period expires, said Darley, giving service and repair business to independent specialists.
Porsche GB is helping dealers combat this through menu pricing for services and marketing in specialist Porsche magazines.
“It’s definitely helping dealers to retain customers and get the message across that Porsche servicing is more affordable than they think,” said Darley.
The manufacturer hopes to offer a bespoke service plan in future, but currently allows dealers to sell their own.