Tight fit to 94th floor
The first public appearance of the Porsche Panamera was a lot more complicated than you might imagine.
AFTER all, how exactly do you get a car all the way up to the 94th floor of one of the world’s tallest buildings? Other carmakers have faced similarly tough tasks, but the luxury Porsche faced some very special preparation and organisation from a combined team of German and Chinese experts.
The key was getting the $270,000 Panamera S to fit into the freight elevator at the Shanghai World Finance Centre in Pudong.
By draining all the fluids out of the car and tilting it up at one end the Panamera slid into the the lift with just millimetres to spare. But it still took a special pallet which allowed the car to be swung 90-degrees and secured safely for its 500m ride up to the 94th floor.
At any other time debuting the car at Shanghai’s World Finance Centre, known locally as the bottle opener because of the big square hole in the middle of it on the top of the building, would have been quite a coup for the moneyed folk of China.
But, even during the global financial crisis, Porsche laid on a slick production with buckets of Moet champagne flowing and plenty of nibbles to keep the assembled media and prospective buyers well fed.
Porsche chose China to launch the Panamera because it is one of the most vigorous growth markets for the brand.
Its plan is to sell 20,000 Panameras a year with its main markets being North America, Europe, Russia … and China.