Porsche Figures a Subscription/Leasing Plan Just Might Discourage Flippers
Ultra-rare automobiles have a tendency to be scooped up by speculators hoping to turn a buck. Manufacturers hate this, as they see none of that sweet, secondhand scratch — plus, the vehicles frequently end up as garage queens tucked away from the public eye. While a bit of a grimy move, it’s easy to understand why someone might be willing to fall from a manufacturer’s good graces so they can flip an already expensive automobile for several times what they paid.
Automakers have come up with interesting ways to circumvent the problem, often establishing hard limits on when a customer can resell a particularly in-demand model, but it never manages to stop it from happening entirely. However, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume thinks he has a novel solution — one that we’re a bit torn on.
According to a recent interview with Autocar, Blume believes a subscription model could be affixed to limited-run models as a way to stop customers from flipping its more collectable offerings. “Our interest is to sell cars for drivers, not dealers,” said Blume. “We put so much love into them, with the goal of people driving them not to put them in a garage.”
While this strategy seems like it would work as intended, it would also set an odd precedent. A subscription-only path seems a little daft. We’re sure there are a great number of wealthy Porsche fans that just want to drive, but speculators are a big part of why the company can ask for so much on its rarer models.
Still, we’re willing to admit to a slight bias against subscription plans in general — at least in their current form. At present, most plans result in a higher monthly fee than leasing with insufficient perks to rationalize their inflated price. But Blume never explained exactly how the plan would work, while also mentioned the possibility of leasing — which we think makes better sense overall.
“One thing we could do is look at leasing models to try to avoid this kind of dealing, so the car doesn’t get sold on for a period of time,” he said. “It is one solution.”
While it’s easy to accuse Porsche of trying to hunt for a new way of lining its pockets, we don’t think that’s all there is to this. The brand likes to present itself as the nameplate for drivers, not wealthy collectors who see cars primarily as investments — though there’s plenty of that, too. Flipping has gotten out of hand over the past few years; the company doesn’t want its image warped any further. If it can score a few extra bucks in the process of finding a remedy, all the better.
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