Local market boosting Porsche surge in Asia-PacificBy Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
With Europe and the United States failing to show any definite sign that they will soon recover from their debilitating economic slump, investors’ focus has shifted to Asia, making it the fastest-growing region in the world today.
This explains why the region—particularly the Philippines, Indonesia and China—has been seeing a surge in the entry of portfolio funds, long-term investments, job opportunities as well as income levels.
An increase in income means a greater ability to purchase such luxuries as a Porsche—a lean, mean purring example of German engineering that can accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour in a matter of seconds.
According to Martin Schlotterer, after-sales director of Porsche Asia Pacific Lte. Ltd., Porsche Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing in the Porsche world, with 16,000 Porsche vehicles on the road.
By 2018, growth is accelerated to as much as 70,000 vehicles in 12 markets with Korea and Taiwan topping the list of Porsche-seeking countries.
“We are already seeing more than 20 construction projects for Porsche centers this year and the next. Over here, we are doubling the workshop for PGA Cars because of the general economic growth in this country. High-end models are selling well here. The brand-new Porsche Boxster, meanwhile, is sold out in any country,” Schlotterer told the Inquirer.
What the surge in sales means is a greater demand for after-sales service. And clients who shell out millions of pesos for a vehicle understandably demand a higher level of service on their special cars.
This is where the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia in the Philippines—the first outside Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany—comes in.
According to Schloterrer, the center in the Philippines based in the showroom of Philippine exclusive distributor PGA Cars Inc., is being counted on to graduate high-level technicians with the skills and attitude to be able to work competently on Porsche cars in dealerships around the region.
And judging from how well the graduates—all of them scholars nominated by the Don Bosco Technical Institute—are doing in their posts in the region, there is reason to believe that the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center in the Philippines will continue to perform its role in the after-sales department of Porsche.
The seventh batch of scholars has just graduated after nine months of intensive training on Porsche engines and they are already in the thick of preparations to leave for their postings abroad, according to Hertz Pura, technical training manager of the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia.
Pura says that of the 16 graduates, five are going to Jeddah, Saudia Arabia; four to Dubai, two to Dabai in Abu Dhabi, both in the United Arab Emirates; two to Kuwait, one in Qatar and one possibly to Singapore. Another scholar was supposed to go to Iran, but may be redeployed to Dubai instead due to security concerns.
Most of the graduates of the center ended up in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar but some have also been deployed to Costa Rica, Yemen, Afghanistan, Brunei, Oman and Brunei. A good number have also decided to stay put in the Philippines as PGA Cars is likewise seeing an acceleration in the sale of Porsche, particularly the Cayenne and Panamera.
Pura admits that there is a mandate from Porsche AG in Stuttgart for dealers around the world to prioritize the scholars when hiring technicians, but then he says they will likely hire them anyway because they are already trained in the Porsche way, thus they can hit the ground running on their first day.
“Hiring them really works to their advantage because from day one, they know what to do with the Porsche unlike if they hire from outside. With the scholars, the training has already been paid. If they hire from outside, they will have to invest in training, which can be expensive,” Pura explains.
What’s more, these graduates already have the mindset necessary to provide Porsche buyers with the service that they expect and are entitled to.
“Our graduates are already molded in the Porsche way and they love the brand. They are committed to it and this is what we can offer our clients,” Schlotterer adds.
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