Business

Porsche plays to its base as it preps for a major shift ahead

The roar on the track is a siren call for Porsche owners and fans.

The German luxury auto brand is holding Rennsport Reunion VI at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway outside Monterey, California. The weekend gathering of Porsche owners and enthusiasts is a chance for the faithful to revel, and in some cases race, vintage Porsche models. Think of it as Woodstock for the Porsche faithful.

“It’s great!” said Melinda Palmer, as she and her husband parked their Porsche Boxster and prepared to enjoy a day at a Porsche-palooza. “Where do you find so many beautiful cars like this except at Rennsport.”

More than 60,000 people, many who own a Porsche, are expected to spend their weekend at Laguna Seca. Events like these may be even more important as the company continues to push the brand in new directions. While the big attraction are the races featuring amateur and professional drivers, the chance to check out scores of classic and rare Porsche models may be what many people love the most about the weekend.

“You see cars you may not have seen before, new ones, ” said Jim Yoder, who drove his Porsche from Orange County up to Monterey.

The enthusiasm seen at Rennsport, doesn’t surprise Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Autotrader. She said Porsche has among the highest brand loyalty rates in the auto business, even as it has expanded the line-up to include SUVs.

“Just a few years ago when Porsche announced it would sell SUVs and everyone said, ‘you’ll ruin the brand!’, but that decision may have saved the brand,” said Krebs.

The popularity of the Cayenne and Macan models has also allowed Porsche to invest heavily developing its first all-electric car, the Taycan. It’s scheduled to roll out late next year and many are wondering if the Taycan will live up to the heritage of Porsche.

Detlev von Platen, a member of the Porsche executive board, said the Taycan will hit the mark.

“People are asking for true value, for authentic things and therefore it’s very important that we come with our heritage, with our DNA,” he said.

DNA you can feel and hear on pit row at Laguna Seca, as Porsches rev up before hitting the track.

As Bob Musclewhite sat in his Boxster, he summarized what makes Rennsport so special for Porsche fans. “It’s about people, not necessarily the car. it’s a community,” he said.

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