Porsche to open Shanghai Experience Centre

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Porsche to open Shanghai Experience Centre

Porsche is to open a new Experience Centre next to the Shanghai GP circuit, to promote its sports car products in China, its third largest market.

The move is designed to increase awareness of Porsche's sports car range and motorsport activity in a car culture where motorists prefer to be driven, rather than driving for themselves.

"The Chinese market has traditionally preferred our passenger oriented products, and sales of the 911 and Boxster have been small in comparison. We're opening the centre to promote the idea of driving as a pleasure, and to show our customers what our sports cars are all about," said a company spokesman.

The new centre will join two currently operating in the US, as well as one at Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire.

Open to the public, the centres allow customers to get a taste of piloting Porsches on track, as well as honing car control skills in their own vehicles. The centre reaffirms Porsche's commitment to sports cars.

With the Cayenne 4x4 the most successful model in the marque's history, and the forthcoming Macan SUV likely to continue in its footsteps, there is a danger that Porsche – which made its reputation off the back of its huge successes in motorsport – will no longer be perceived as a sports car manufacturer first and foremost.

However, while the Stuttgart brand recognises the importance of increasingly diverse model range, it doesn't appear concerned, citing strong sales of the 911, Boxster and Cayman.

"Yes the Cayenne is our best selling model in the UK, but the 911 is not far behind, and our combined sports car sales far outweigh those of our 4x4s."

Currently there is no official word on when the Shanghai Porsche Experience Centre will open, but it is expected to be complete late next year.

You can read our review on the latest Porsche model, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, here.