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By John Wright, UCR Member (from Provinz February 2015 page 35)
I have read a lot about European delivery for Porsche, and as I am retired and a long-time Porsche owner I thought now would be a good opportunity to try it. Plus, the vehicle I wanted (plain/manual base 2015 Cayman) would have to be a special order. I believe that with Porsche cars, less is more.
So at the end of May I placed the order through my local dealer in Oakville, Ontario. Even though there was probably little or no money in it for the dealer, placing the order was a straightforward and pleasant experience, and then I just had to be patient.
I got the delivery confirmation in June, secured with a small deposit, and finalized the delivery date as November 3rd in Stuttgart.
About three weeks before my departure date for Germany I got a call from the dealer to tell me my European delivery pack was ready for collection—and please bring a cheque, which is exactly the same amount as if you took delivery in Canada (or for that matter the USA).
After finalizing some small details about which hotel Porsche would book for me (they pay bed and breakfast for one night at an extremely comfortable hotel, and provide taxi vouchers to and from the factory), I was all ready to go.
Porsche in Atlanta prepare a very comprehensive explanatory letter and complete kit for European delivery— you just have to show up at the designated time at the factory, and show your passport. The kit also covers all you need to know about the insurance (up to 16 days coverage paid by Porsche) in Europe, and the return of vehicle arrangements.
A tour of the factory (excellent) and a lunch (also excellent) are part of the experience. Before the tour you are taken through the vehicle documentation by a Porsche delivery specialist, and met again by the same individual after lunch for what is the really essential purpose of the trip: car delivery.
The car is presented to you in the new car delivery showroom, and a photo is taken of car and proud owner. I defy anyone to not look totally thrilled at this moment.
The car delivery specialist then gives you a first-class introduction to the car, and even if this is not your first Porsche, I guarantee you will learn something new about the car from him.
Now you are in the car and rolling out of the factory with a full tank of gas (courtesy of Porsche), navi set (ditto), snow tires (free rental, but a max speed of 240 kph), and the autobahn beckons. If you think all this, being essentially free (i.e. at no additional cost), is too good to be true, well, it IS true, so all that stuff about no free lunch is obviously wrong.
Those with a keen eye for detail will notice I haven’t mentioned the museum tour, which is also a free feature. But it’s closed on Monday—my pick-up day—so I did that on the way back. An added and fascinating bonus, but if you are only going to do one car museum in Stuttgart, you really should not miss the Mercedes Benz stellar effort as it’s in a different league from any other car museum I have ever visited.
At the pre-arranged date you return the car at the agreed place in Europe (also detailed in the delivery kit—you have plenty of choice), and then wait the interminable six to eight weeks for the car to arrive back in your hands in North America.
One month to the day later, the car arrived by ship in Halifax (and I was so advised by Porsche Atlanta), but here I would say is where the process could be improved, as the car essentially disappears from view thereafter.
I realize that holidays intervene, but in this day and age it is unacceptable that accurate information on the whereabouts of a large and valuable object appears unobtainable.
By comparison, consider how my specialist manufactured floor mats (i.e. non OE – Porsche, your rubber floor mats are the only under-engineered feature of the car) arrived—promptly of course, but more importantly with a tracker advice whereby anytime I wanted I could see where my $200 worth of mat was.
Right now, I have no accurate information as to where my vehicle may be. It could be in Halifax (over two weeks after arrival there on 19 December), or it might be in a truck, or it might be in a train. Or perhaps in New Jersey, for all I know. The trucking company had no record of the unit being anywhere. I have managed to draw some indication from the dealer that it should be here this week, or as Atlanta put it a week ago—any day now. Well, yes. But why are we are all still guessing?
Other than the final mystery tour yet concluded, I would say that European delivery of your factory fresh Porsche is an experience not to be missed.
PS: The car arrived in Oakville by covered truck on January 5th. Mystery solved.