ANOTHER EGREGIOUS EXERCISE IN EGOMANIACAL STUPIDITY BROUGHT TO YOU BY PORSCHE.
DateTUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2020 AT 11:47AM
By Peter M. DeLorenzo
Detroit. So, perhaps we’ve all gotten over the fact that Porsche is now predominantly an SUV/Crossover manufacturer that happens to make sports cars on the side to keep in touch with its heritage.
Way back when the decision was made to produce the original Cayenne SUV, Porsche operatives predicted correctly where the market was going and then reaped huge profits that not only fueled its growth and funded its survivability, it allowed the company to continue building its sports cars and its racing programs. This begat another even more popular SUV – the Macan – which is now the single most successful Porsche in terms of sales.
A win-win for all concerned, right? After all, the hardcore Porsche enthusiasts can still have their pick of myriad iterations of hot 911s and 718s – if they can afford even looking at them – while the company retains its boast of being the most profitable car company in the world (well, at least in the top three anyway) by pushing Cayennes and Macans to well-to-do suburban dwellers in seemingly endless quantities.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot, apparently.
Though some of you have absorbed the lunacy of the Porsche pricing strategy (I haven’t), which has gone wildly out of control over the last half-decade – an “entry level” Porsche simply doesn’t exist anymore – and the Porsche option list remains the most usurious form of gulp fiction that exists in the industry today, a monument to gouging that is almost incomprehensible to behold, the insistence by Porsche operatives that they have, despite all of their success pushing SUVs, been able to retain their focus and are still adhering to their heritage is simply not true anymore. In fact, these Porsche operatives have gotten so far away from any lingering vestiges of “heritage” that it’s time to present them for what they are: greed merchants looking for their next score.
The latest evidence of this – besides the fact that there’s a whole generation of Porsche buyers out there who don’t even realize the company was once known for its sports cars – is that the boffins in Porsche’s “Exclusive Manufaktur” in Zuffenhausen (the division of Porsche that takes the concept of hosing its customers to stratospheric levels) have managed to come up with another new and absurd way of extracting cash from the Porsche faithful as described by the Porsche PR minions: By “using an ‘innovative’ direct printing method developed by Porsche, graphic elements of the highest visual quality can now be printed onto the painted body parts of a vehicle. Initially, customers who purchase a new 911 can have the bonnet personalized with a design based on their own fingerprint.”
Huh? Let’s read that again: “… customers who purchase a new 911 can have the bonnet personalized with a design based on their own fingerprint.”
Porsche is so proud of this development, that the press release goes on and on and on about it, with this gem from Alexander Fabig, Vice President, Individualization and Classic: “Individuality is very important for Porsche customers. And no design can be more personal than your own fingerprint.”
Somehow this reminds me of the old Johnny Carson bit when he said, “I did not know that.”
In case you really want to know how this works, Porsche’s PR minions are happy to explain: “If a customer decides to enhance their 911 with the direct printing method, the specialists in the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur disassemble the bonnet following series production. The customer’s biometric data is processed so as to make sure it cannot be used for an unauthorized purpose. The entire process takes place in direct communication with the customer, who has a complete overview of how their personal data is used and is also integrated in the creation process of their print graphic. After the robot paints the unique design, a clear coat is applied and the bonnet is then polished to a high-gloss finish in order to meet the highest quality standards. Then the enhanced component is reinstalled.”
I feel a nightmare coming on.