Car sales: have we been here be­fore?

With nearly a decade of buy­ing and sell­ing rep­utable Porsche to his name, Karl Meyer of­fers his views on how the mar­ket­place has changed, and what’s in store in the months ahead

Total 911 - - Guest Columnist: Karl Meyer -

Let me en­cour­age you to play a lit­tle game. Take ten peo­ple you know who love cars, and ask: “What do you think is go­ing on with the pre­mium car mar­ket to­day?” You may be sur­prised by the an­swers you re­ceive. I cer­tainly was.

The pre­mi­ums GT cars com­mand is a red-hot topic, and has been for some time. Every­one is talk­ing about it, but what is the truth? What’s fact and what’s opin­ion? I found it sober­ing when I sin­gled out in­di­vid­u­als from the crowd to dis­cuss the topic off the record, and their over­whelm­ing and hon­est re­sponse was: “We re­ally don’t know.” What­ever your opin­ion, there are some ob­jec­tive facts that can’t be ig­nored. The data sug­gests we have three eras to con­sider: his­toric past, re­cent past and the present.

His­tor­i­cally you may be sur­prised to learn how dif­fer­ent things were only 15 years ago in the OPC net­work. 911 sales made up less than one per cent of car sales in the UK, and for Porsche Cen­tres to find homes for their 911 stock al­lo­ca­tion was, at times, chal­leng­ing. Most cen­tres op­er­ated a fund­ing model where they could keep the car in the show­room for a max­i­mum of 180 days, and af­ter that pe­riod the Cen­tre had to pay for it in full. Worse still, they didn’t have any means to tell the world about it, be­cause Youtube hadn’t been in­vented yet. How times have changed!

This is a far cry from to­day’s prob­lem, where Cen­tre Prin­ci­ples fight their case to se­cure as many GT and spe­cial-edi­tion cars for their cus­tomers as they can. In the re­cent past, the vast ma­jor­ity of GT and RS prod­uct found its way into the hands of your ar­che­typal crazy gen­tle­man racer, se­ri­ous track-day en­thu­si­ast, car col­lec­tor or Euro­pean rally-type play­boy. These were peo­ple seek­ing lots of fun who were happy to lose lots of money in the process. These happy days take us all the way to and in­clude the 997.2 GT3 and GT3 RS, be­fore things started to change again.

Af­ter the RS 4.0, it would seem ironic that the car to get the world talk­ing about buy­ing a car at your lo­cal OPC and prof­i­teer­ing from the ex­pe­ri­ence was not a GT car at all, but the Sport Clas­sic. Prices slowly started to creep up due to its tiny pro­duc­tion numbers. From then on all en­thu­si­asts vowed never to be caught off guard again, adamant that any­thing pro­duced in small numbers would fit the in­vest­ment cri­te­ria.

Sub­se­quently, ev­ery­thing 991 lim­ited and GT sold out months in ad­vance – cus­tomers couldn’t get their de­posits down fast enough.

With the rise in the clas­sic car mar­ket, likely due to dis­ap­pear­ing in­ter­est rates, air-cooled prices started ris­ing, too.

So what now? I be­lieve we have a com­bi­na­tion of the two fore­gone eras wrestling each other. What we are see­ing is 991.1 GT3S be­low list price. Mean­while, 991.1 GT3 RS cars are chang­ing hands, in the trade at least, for pretty much list money, and the pre­mi­ums com­manded by the Gen2 cars are a frac­tion of what the Gen1 cars were at re­lease. Porsche AG has in­stalled mea­sures to cur­tail the ‘flip­pers’ out there, too.

A glance at some of our com­peti­tor sta­bles also paints a bleak pic­ture for some spec­u­la­tors: cars with de­liv­ery mileage are ad­ver­tised a year later for nearly £100k un­der list money. These were clearly bought to be sold on. That’s a knock-out blow that will scare away a chunk of spec­u­la­tors from the mar­ket­place, and is al­ready chang­ing the land­scape.

As hot as the topic is, it’s good to be re­minded that this fight has played out many times be­fore, and will again, and so I would feel re­miss not to give a nod to the un­sung hero in the saga who, re­gard­less of era, is tire­lessly work­ing in the back­ground: your OPC sales team. Whether there are too many RS cars or never enough, it is they who walk the tightrope of pleas­ing every­one – both cus­tomer and man­u­fac­turer. They are sel­dom told the se­crets of al­lo­ca­tions un­til it’s too late, and it is they who must face the pub­lic’s ques­tions. So let’s see what the next 911 brings. And, with the fac­tory clo­sure and 992 tool­ing up­start­ing, I think we could see 6 to 12 months of them all be­ing a bit thin on the ground. So go and get one – any one… and sim­ply love driv­ing it!

Karl runs 2911, the smart new way to sell your Porsche. Uniquely linked to the OPC net­work and in­de­pen­dent mar­ket, call +44 (0) 7779 100 069 with de­tails of your mod­ern, GT or clas­sic Porsche.

ABOVE Karl re­mem­bers the days when Porsche Cen­tres strug­gled to sell GT cars – a far cry from the present

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.