Since joining Porsche in the early 1990s to her final role as Customer Relationship Manager in the Porsche Marketing Department, she was the important bridge between the vehicles that many Porsche owners loved and their enjoyment of their ownership experience.
Porsche and Pamela Ward. For many years those words were almost inseparable for thousands of owners who explored the fascinating world of Porsche through its range of unique Australian driving and associated customer experiences, from the popular ‘Targa Tours’ to front-row hospitality at major events around Australia to exclusive Track Experiences in conjunction with major motorsport events like the Australia F1 Grand Prix and the Bathurst 12-Hour endurance race.
In her most recent role as Customer Relationship Manager, Pamela Ward was often the human face of Porsche, designing and managing customer experiences, crafting and refining them to the smallest detail to ensure their success and in the process, catering for every whim and variation that participants might request.
Her input resulted in a unique customer culture that became the envy of the industry and played an important role in the company’s growth over the past three decades.
Pamela Ward understood what motivated owners from the time she joined Porsche Cars Australia at the end of January 1992 as Executive Assistant to then-Managing Director, Nicolas Leutwiler, as well as being Assistant Human Resources Manager.
In the aftermath of the late 1980s recession Porsche A.G. of Germany had just taken direct control of its long-standing ‘daughter’ company established nearly four decades earlier in 1951 at a time when housing interest rates were nudging 18 per cent and the industry’s new car sales had slumped.
Her retail industry experience proved invaluable and in 1995, she was appointed Executive Administration Manager for both Porsche Cars Australia and Porsche Centre Melbourne, in addition to her role as Human Resources Manager.
Then in 2001, she was appointed PCA’s Public Relations Manager and she ultimately became Porsche’s Customer Relationship Manager in July 2005.
Pamela is gone now after losing a long struggle with cancer that ended in late May 2019, but her memorial gathering saw many customers and others she touched, past and present, join Porsche colleagues, family and friends to pay tribute to her influence.
It was no surprise to anyone there that Pamela had arranged the function, appointed the caterers, specified the music, selected the finger-food and chosen the wine. She was fastidious about the details that enhanced participants’ experience at every event she presided over.
As former Porsche Cars Australia Sales & Marketing Director Michael Bartsch recalled to guests, engaging people with the world of Porsche in the early 1990s was a very different challenge when Pamela Ward joined Porsche than it is today.
“Back in 1992 when Porsche AG took over responsibility for all Porsche marketing activities in Australia, total sales were around just 30 cars a year; contrast that with today, when annual Porsche sales in Australia exceed 4,000.
“However, Pamela understood the passion of the brand, what it stood for and the way customers related to it. We were in the ‘people’ business from the bottom up and she appreciated that better than most.
“It wasn't about what the brand could do for her; it was always what she could do for Porsche and this determination never wavered.”
“Porsche owners feel part of a family, and for many years Pamela was instrumental in building this feeling into all kinds of Porsche events in Australia." Toni Andreevski, Porsche Cars Australia Sales Director
As a testament to the respect she engendered, Porsche owners in the 2020 Porsche Targa Great Barrier Reef event in Cairns fitted a tribute livery on their cars in memory of Pamela Ward. In addition, Porsche inaugurated the Pamela Ward ‘Spirit of Targa’ Memorial Award.
“Porsche owners feel part of a family, and for many years Pamela was instrumental in building this feeling into all kinds of Porsche events in Australia. She enjoyed creating an inspiring brand and customer experience and watching the joy it delivered,” said Porsche Cars Australia Sales Director, Toni Andreevski.
“It made no difference whether she was dealing with a longstanding 911 owner or a new-to-the-brand Macan convert, Pamela ensured they all received the typically authentic and highly personal Porsche experience,” he said. “She really understood our customers.”
While Pamela Ward sadly is no longer with Porsche Cars Australia following her death after a long battle with cancer, her legacy lives on.