To this day, customers come as close as is practically possible to the brand’s roots when they pick up their new car. In the anniversary year, the first Taycan was also collected by a customer from the parent plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.
The history of factory collection all began outside on a field in view of Plant 1. This is where Ottomar Domnick laid the foundation for this tradition when he collected his sports car on May 26, 1950: a Porsche 356 in Fish Silver with the commission number 5001. Being the first customer in Germany was a dream come true for this specialist in neurology and psychiatry. Ottomar Domnick was 43 years old when he collected his Porsche – incidentally the same age as Florian Böhme who was handed the first electric sports car in Zuffenhausen on February 21. He collected his Taycan on the day of his 43rd birthday.
Before the celebratory handover, Ottomar Domnick took the passenger seat in his Porsche 356 next to Herbert Linge, who had invited him to take a final test run. Herbert Linge started his training at Porsche KG in April 1943 and was one of the first mechanics to be employed after Porsche returned from Gmünd in Austria at the end of 1949. “I was 14 years old when I started work at the first Porsche training workshop. In those days, we were six mechanics and two technical draftsmen. Ferdinand Porsche often walked past our workshop with important guests in tow. He would always stop to say hello while keeping his guests briefly waiting. That’s something I’ll never forget,” says Herbert Linge, who clearly remembers every car collection at the factory. “When Ottomar Domnick collected his Porsche 356, he really celebrated the occasion. But he had been coming to the factory every day anyway to see how far on we were with the work. Even Ferry Porsche briefly dropped in when the doctor was presented with his sports car.”
Even today, factory collection at the Porsche headquarters is a particularly special experience for customers. “The most exciting aspect of this first encounter is that the customer has never actually seen the car before,” explains Tobias Donnevert, Head of Factory Collection and Sales Operations Personalization. “The customer has configured the car of his choice in the Porsche Center or together with the customer service of the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur department and has only seen the color combinations on photos or tiles. So when he collects his personal Porsche, he is seeing it for the very first time. This is a very special moment, reserved exclusively for the customer at the beginning of the handover.”
Factory collections over time
At the plant in Zuffenhausen, Tobias Donnevert and his team welcome around 20 customers every day who come to collect their new cars. In 2019, there was a total of 2,500 customers and almost 3,000 in Leipzig. Before collecting their car, customers are also invited to take a tour of the factory and see, among other things, how the Porsche 911 is manufactured in Zuffenhausen. A visit to the Porsche Museum is also on the agenda. At Porsche in Leipzig, customers are given an insight into the production of the Macan and Panamera models. Customers can also take a test run in a similar Porsche on the plant’s own FIA race track.
The Domnick Foundation, which manages his estate, still has the original order form from Ottomar Domnick with the commission number 5001. The order was processed by the Volkswagen Hahn dealership as there was no sales distribution in Germany at that point. “Volkswagen” had been crossed out by hand and replaced with “Porsche-Sport” on the order form. To this day, Ottomar Domnick’s Porsche 356 represents the beginning of Porsche in Germany, and it also directly stands for the start of personal factory collections in Zuffenhausen.
Carrying on the tradition
Customers in the U.S. have been taking factory delivery of new sports cars since the 1950s when members of the Porsche Club of America would travel abroad to visit the facilities. Today, car buyers in the United States have a similar option to the factory delivery, with unique new vehicle delivery programs at the Porsche Experience Centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The first deliveries started in Atlanta in 2016, followed by L.A. in 2018. Customers and their guest are immersed in the Porsche brand for a half-day, starting with a thorough product overview of their new vehicle in the New Vehicle Delivery Lounge.
A Porsche Drive Coach will also take each customer out for 90 minutes on the Driver Development Track behind the wheel of a car comparable to their newly-purchased vehicle to hone their skills. Programs conclude with a complimentary meal at the fine-dining restaurant on site, Restaurant 356 in Atlanta or Restaurant 917 in L.A., overlooking the driver development track. Tours of the facility are also available while visiting the PEC, whether guests are interested in the Porsche Classic Workshop and Heritage Gallery in Atlanta or a self-guided tour of the rotating vehicle display in L.A.
Current safety measures and status of PEC new vehicle delivery (May 12, 2020)
After temporarily suspending new vehicle deliveries at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta and Los Angeles during coronavirus outbreak, the program is expected to resume in June 2020 with modified operations.
- All customers will be asked to follow facility guidelines to enter the PEC, including temperature checks before entering the building and mandatory masks throughout the building unless driving on track.
- Track sessions will be conducted in a lead-follow format with a Porsche Drive coach in a separate vehicle coaching guests via radio.
- While customers will be unable to tour the Classic Workshop in Atlanta, the Heritage Gallery will be open for guests.
- Catered lunch will be available for new vehicle delivery guests in lieu of dining at Restaurant 356 in Atlanta or Restaurant 917 in L.A. due to the restaurants being temporarily closed.