To be young again

And yet, when it comes to something like a GT3 RS, are we filled with any less wonderment today?



~ by velofinds on June 14, 2011.

7 Responses to “To be young again”

  1. that picture is almost EXACTLY me at that age—-except that it was a GREEN 1977 Buick Le Sabre i was playing near—–the horror…..the horror….

  2. Our kids will never, ever perceive Porsche the way we do.

    To them, Porsche will just be another slightly sporty Audi or BMW. I grew up in a time when Porsche was one thing only: sports cars. I knew exactly what a Porsche was.

    Kids will grow up in a world where Porsche is also building large, flabby 4 doors, an awful huge SUV and probably soon another small SUV-thing, and what else after that.

    More and more here in Europe I see Boxters are throw away rubbish, unloved, unwashed, mostly due to the enormous volumes sold and its dull character. Cayennes are perceived in the same light and treated the same way. These cars will continue to erode and destroy any favourable images we have of Porsche as they are misused and abused until they are scrapped. (Regardless of how “good” both these cars are in fact).

    This is what happens when you put a production manager in charge to make mountains of profit with no consideration to the brand. Any fool can make a ton of money off a desired brand. Imagine Ferrari going down this road; yes, huge profits, but at what price in the long term? Trout and Ries warned against this sort of short-sighted line extensions over 25 years ago, and every word still rings true.

    The biggest problem with this crime is that it is initially praised: huge short term profit is always the result. So the man who commits this sort of atrocity will be long in retirement or dead when the extent of the damage emerges. The perception and positioning shift of Porsche will only be detected in our kids and their kids and will forever be lost.

    Porsche’s biggest mistake was to be listed on a stock exchange. Instead they should have sold out to VW years ago. Or, to have stayed small and independent.

    I understand the foundation of free commerce is the profit motive. However, here is the thing nobody gets: in any luxury market segment, the desire for massive volume and profit will always erode your biggest asset. It comes with planned sacrifice. This is why most luxury brands belong to a large parent which allows them benefit of scale, R&D and access to capital but preserving the brand (Swiss watches and fashion apparel for example).

    I have been harping on about this for years on several forums, but few agree with me. Time will tell…

  3. “Too much wheelgap!”

  4. haha mike.

    very astute, etienne. had porsche been bought by vw, would we have been spared the likes of the cayenne and panamera? i wonder. i also question whether they would have been able to survive by staying small and independent. perhaps, but i guess we’ll never know.

    now the boxster, on the other hand, hasn’t made porsche worse in my opinion— to me it’s the spiritual successor to the 914 and 944. i believe there is a legitimate place in the brand for an entry-level volume model that slots below the 911.

    • I agree, hopefully they would have followed Audi’s lead with Lamborghini, Fiat’s with Ferrari, etc.

      I agree with the sentiment about an entry-level model below the 911. I myself owned a 944 as well as a 911 (3.2).

      But why does the Boxter have to look almost exactly like a 996 / 997? The 914 / 924 / 944 were at least very different to the 911 and all had real character.

      The Boxter is a very, very good car, but my goodness, you cannot find an appliance with less personality.

  5. Ettiene, I don’t know where you’re situated but over here ( in the Netherlands very close to the German border) Porsches are a pretty normal sight and many people own one, they’re not really perceived as exclusive cars, just really great sportcars. I do agree with you that the Panamera and Cayenne aren’t the greatest cars Porsche has ever produced, but to me a model like the 911 will never lose it’s charm and I simply can’t imagine that changing soon.
    ( my apologies if somehow I misunderstood your opinion, it’ll be probably be lost in translation 😉 )

    • You and I agree; I live in Switzerland, you can imagine the number of Porsches here. That is my point: the essential part of the allure of a luxury product is its exclusivity, as a financial company Porsche *had to* produce cars in huge numbers. This has made Porsche a very successful company in financial terms but has impoverished the brand perception.

      This means the long-term desirablitly will eventually be harmed. I certainly do not want to own a modern Porsche simply because every second person has one. 993 and older is desirable not just because I am a traditionalist, but they were also a fairly rare car back then.

      It is for this reason the charm of the 911 will never change for you; you grew up with old-generation 911’s. So did I. But our kids? And their kids? What will Porsche be in their minds?

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