Porsche is eyeing Queensland sites to build its own race track in Australia.
The move would follow plans to build similar circuits in the US and China. Porsche already offers Aussie customers high performance driving days through its lease of the Queensland government owned driver training facility at Mt. Cotton.
However, the local arm is keen to establish its own centre and is looking hard at possible sites in the Sunshine State, Porsche Australia spokesman Paul Ellis says.
“Queensland is the logical place for Porsche to look at creating a driving centre as a large percentage of our drive day participants come from Asia and they tend to package their Porsche driving days with holidays,” he says.
Two similar tracks are planned for the Atlanta and Los Angeles in the US, which is Porsche’s biggest market with 29,093 sales for 2011 – an increase of 15 per cent over 2010.
However China was screaming up close behind with 24,340 sales, which was a massive increase of 64 per cent over 2010’s 14,785 sales (itself an increase of 63 per cent over the previous year).
“The market in China will possibly overtake the US very soon,” suggests Porsche’s global head of product and technical press, Thomas Becki.
He says Porsche already hosts drive days and training in China (at Shanghai’s Tianma track), but with the planned new one “we will own it and we will control it.”
But it’s not about megalomania, it’s about money. There’s a strong business case for owning the facility, Becki says.
“Once you buy your Porsche sports car and you want to do training days, it will be worth your while to pay for them to get the full Porsche experience,” he says. In addition, there’s the potential to increase the bottom line by leasing the facility out.
“We don’t do these things just for the sake of it,” Ellis says. “We do them because it’s a business and it’s also about giving customers the opportunity to experience their cars in a safe and entertaining environment.”