If you were wondering just how seriously manufacturers take their heritage and the classic car movement, Porsche have the answer. This follows the recent launch by Mercedes-Benz of their factory-based All Time Stars classic car sales operation.
The world’s first Porsche Classic Centre is now open: the Porsche Classic Centre Gelderland, just outside Arnhem in the Netherlands, offers services for classic Porsche of all ages. This is the first time that service, workshop and sales exclusively for classic Porsche sports cars have been brought together under one roof. A small number of additional certified Porsche Classic Centres are set to follow around the world and produce an even more closely knit Porsche Classic network.
According to Porsche more than 70% of the vehicles they have ever produced by are still running today. To ensure that these classic cars receive optimum factory support and overhaul facilities, Porsche is establishing an international dealer and service network with around 100 centres to reach completion by 2018. This mainly involves Porsche centres which will provide support for sports cars of earlier eras in addition to the current models and will be certified as Porsche Classic Partners where potential customers can access a complete range of Porsche Classic services. These services will include the supply of some 52,000 original spare parts, complete and partial restorations as well as repair and maintenance work and the sale of classic cars. Porsche Classic Partners will be setting up a separate area for this purpose with classic vehicles on display and current spare parts together with technical literature and information.
At present, the network comprises 24 Porsche Classic Partners around the world. Ten of them are in Germany, with others across Europe including the United Kingdom, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Locations where new centres are being developed include Australia, Canada and the USA.
Porsche Classic Partner employees will complete a special training program, which Porsche has developed specifically for this purpose. This enables them to provide classic car customers with expert and detailed information on damage patterns typical for every type of vehicle, the appropriate precautionary measures and suitable repair options. To ensure the best possible level of service and repair, Porsche Classic Partners are equipped with special tools and model-specific repair instructions. In this way, Porsche will be able to guarantee a uniformly high standard of quality at all Classic Centres.
Other manufacturers with manufacturer-backed classic car programs include Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Lamborghini amongst a host of others. Time will tell if these are mainly focused on selling new cars through their heritage or another profit centre for the manufacturer and their franchised dealers – Aston Martin recently put the cat amongst the pigeons when they announced their Assured Provenance certification program would be run through Aston Martin Works rather than through their well established network of specialist Heritage dealers. Either which way the manufacturers are taking classics seriously.