A LIMITED AVAIL­ABIL­ITY GAME

911 Porsche World - - News And Views -

We've heard it be­fore. Now it's hap­pen­ing again. When Porsche wheeled out the re­cent 911 R spe­cial, there was­much talk of lis­ten­ing to cus­tomers, fo­cus­ing on what they want fromthe driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence rather than­merely de­liv­er­ing a num­bers car that hit cer­tain quan­tifi­able and ob­jec­tive per­for­mance tar­gets.

Prob­lemwas, of course, that the 911 R was so limited in terms of its 991-unit pro­duc­tion run that al­most any­thing it did or de­liv­ered was aca­demic. Even if you could af­ford it, you al­most cer­tainly couldn't buy one. But wait. Surely Porsche has re­sponded to that is­sue di­rectly with the new Tour­ing op­tion on the lat­est 911 GT3. Af­ter all, it looks just like a 911 R thanks to its wing-delete aes­thetic and­man­ual-only trans­mis­sion con­fig­u­ra­tion.

What'smore, the Tour­ing Pack­age is a no-cost op­tion. You don't even have to pay a pre­mium. And the kicker? Un­like the 911 R, Porsche em­pha­sised that the GT3 Tour­ing pack isn't a lim­it­ed­pro­duc­tion car. Ex­cept it is in prac­tice if you ac­tu­ally try to or­der one. It turns out that the Tour­ing Pack­age is to be part of the ex­ist­ing GT3 pro­duc­tion run rather than rep­re­sent­ing a new batch of cars. In other words, the in­tro­duc­tion of the Tour­ing Pack­age does not­mean an over­all in­crease in GT3 pro­duc­tion.

That's a prob­lem­be­cause, in the UK at least, the GT3 was ef­fec­tively al­ready sold out. It's pos­si­ble that fur­ther al­lo­ca­tions will be re­leased in fu­ture. But if you wan­der into a UK Porsche Cen­tre to­day and at­tempt to or­der any kind of GT3, Tour­ing or oth­er­wise, you won't have­much luck.

Of course, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween sup­ply and de­mand with these kinds of cars is tricky. Sim­ply open up the flood­gates on the sup­ply side and the re­sult­might ac­tu­ally be fewer sales, not­more. Much of the ap­peal re­volves around the per­cep­tion of ex­clu­siv­ity. Take that away and de­mand might wan­der off with it. In­stead, what grates is the lip ser­vice Porsche pays tomeet­ing cus­tomer de­mand and pref­er­ence while it re­ally knows that­most po­ten­tial cus­tomers sim­ply can't buy one at all. Porschemight not have a very spe­cific num­ber inmind with the Tour­ing op­tion. But it's a limited car all the same.

911 & PORSCHE WORLD

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