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Mr. Franz Jung: seizing every opportunity

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[Original report by Angie Bi, Tencent Auto] Since taking office as President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche China nearly two years ago, Mr. Franz Jung has already delivered an impressive score sheet.

Sales kept a double-digit growth for two years in a row in its largest market, China, outpacing global average by twice last year.

In China’s red-hot auto market, this didn’t come by easily and testifies to the extraordinary experience of Mr. Franz Jung, a helm holder in the 50s. To be sure, no one can predict future or foresee whether it’ll be all smooth sailing from here for Porsche. All he can do is to take each and every opportunity together with Porsche.

The newly rich young’s favorite

“Car owners in China average 35-37 years old, almost 10 years younger than a mature market.” My impression of Porsche owners was upended by what Mr. Franz Jung said. Without his introduction, I would’ve probably not been able to image Chinese Porsche owners are so young.

Lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, entrepreneurs……Porsche owners are not mainly upstarts or the second generation rich. Instead, they are mostly well-educated, experienced, mature and hardworking people who lived abroad and travel a lot.

What makes these newly rich young people willing to pay for a Porsche? According to an owner who got a Panamera参配图片询价) at as early as 26 years old, he picked Porsche because of its social recognition, long tradition and brand essence, and it being a perfect match with his lifestyle.

A super-luxury reputation and relatively high prices are putting off some consumers. To better introduce Porsche to more young consumers, Mr. Franz Jung and his team has also made numerous efforts.

Through such events as rally races, vintage car exhibitions and fairs, and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA), Porsche is talking to the new-generation leading young consumers about its history, so that more and more people will get to know and relate to the brand. “It takes a lot of time but one important part of knowing a brand is to know its history.”

What qualifies it as a dream vehicle? Special feeling, tradition, luxurious experience, social recognition-these are traits picked by Mr. Franz Jung in his mind. He chose 911 Targa as his dream car, “I personally like the Porsche brand because it is a sporty driving machine and also a luxury sports car, at once unique and extraordinarily practical.”

As the auto consumption market matures, so does the consumers’ mentality. They are increasingly cautious about auto investment and less inclined to buy because of brand. This highlights the importance of “bringing in the right product in the right time”.

Take Cayenne and Macan as examples, when the niche market for luxury SUV market boomed around the world, Porsche acted before other competitors to unveil the Cayenne model, gaining a strong foothold and claiming considerable market shares. The compact SUV Macan was an even greater success. Macan was launched by Porsche exactly when young consumers began to show potential. Last year, it saw a nearly 20% sales growth, staying Porsche’s best-selling model with 95,642 of these cars being delivered.

For any carmaker, product is always its source of core competitiveness, and all of a business’s input is for making better products. “I have never been able to find my dream sports car: small and light; that’s why I decided to make one myself.” These are Ferry Porsche’s immortal words and a firm belief Porsche lives by.

What Porsche is doing now is developing and making industry-leading sports cars both in daily use and on racetracks, winning over the newly rich young people.

Balance between being dynamic and static

12% annual sales growth, 22% single model sales growth, the world’s fourth largest Porsche coupe sports car market, twice as many female car owners than mature markets……these data are the best footnotes for Mr. Franz Jung’s smile to the public.

Rapid product launch is the most direct driver of surging sales. The latest 911 model, the brand-new Panamera’s launch, and the debut of 718 Boxster参配图片询价) and 718 Cayman参配图片询价) , they all caused a sensation among consumers. The all-new Panamera administrative extended edition and the special 911, 718, SUV models, specially designed for the Chinese market, are more eagerly anticipated by potential buyers.

To seize on the new energy car and mobile internet frenzy, Porsche is acting rapidly on both fronts. The brand-new Panamera, put on sale at the end of last year, comes with the Porsche Connect module, a function to be shared by upcoming Porsche models. Within three years, the 500 mile-plus-range Mission E, its first pure-electric sports car, will begin mass production.

Of course, it didn’t stop here. After Los Angeles and Atlanta in the US, and Silverstone in the UK, A Porsche Experience Center near the Shanghai International Circuit is set to open soon as part of the efforts to raise Porsche’s profile among Chinese clients.

Mr. Franz Jung has been leading Porsche in moving ahead, seizing every opportunity along the way. Having seen the potential of the financial market, Mr. Franz Jung also pushed for the inclusion of financial policy service into Porsche’s development plan for this and the following year. He is keenly aware that to move is necessary, but so is being static.

Coming to office two years ago amid bitter rows between dealers and Porsche China over unreasonable business policies and blind expansion plans, he put on top of his everyday agenda the reshaping of dealer-producer relationship, “working day after day myself to improve relationships with dealers”. And now Porsche boasts a high-quality dealer network, or using his own word, “I believe that we have a very successful dealer distribution and development strategy.”

The successful strategy he speaks of is a consistent principle of prudent dealer expansion. Without bringing in too many investors and dealers in one place under a strict dealer count control, the virtuous development of dealers is secured by being “static”. Even necessary expansion is planned by Porsche “cautiously”.

Another way for Porsche to be “static” is never oversupplying the market. The principle of setting production numbers based on sales progress does not always apply in the production process, but Porsche has always been committed to pursuing good balance. Indeed, balance between demand and supply is one important part of Porsche Strategy 2025.

After two successive years of rapid growth, happiness is written all over Mr. Franz Jung’s face. He is a firm believer in more potential in China’s auto market but not a blind optimist, “continuous success depends on a brand’s own competitiveness and understanding of client demands. The double-digit growth numbers of the past may not be possible, but we are expecting to outgrow the market average in China.” This perhaps is the philosophy of Mr. Franz Jung, the helm holder. Apart to speed, what Porsche needs more is a balance between being dynamic and static.

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