Why does a premium brand like Porsche spend money on racing? It’s made to improve the breed

Motor racing is one of the most popular sports in the world, with vast audiences enjoying the high levels of excitement, fast-paced action, competitiveness and the ability to cheer on their favorite brands and drivers. In this field, few automakers are as famous on the racing circuit as Porsche – the German automaker has been in the racing spotlight since 1951, when it claimed a class victory at the famous 24 Hours race. Le Mans with his 356 SL.

Most car manufacturers use racing as a form of advertising. They participate in motorsport to improve brand recognition and perception, drive showroom traffic and increase sales. Still, Porsche – as most pundits will say – doesn’t really need all that. The brand is universally known and respected for its drive and enthusiasm, each of its sports and luxury vehicles is a solid seller and its retailers sell every vehicle they can get their hands on.

So if Porsche doesn’t need to spend exorbitant sums on racing – most experts estimate automakers will need to spend between $50 million and $150 million a year to stay competitive – why is it racing?

“The reason why Porsche racing is very simple, most likely to the point of seeming too simple. Porsche uses motorsport to improve the race,” reveals the automaker. “Every aspect of a Porsche is about driving.”

Porsche can be universally identified by its iconic rear-engined 911 sports car (and, to a much lesser extent, Boxster/Cayman models), but the company has been making crossovers (Cayenne and Macan) since 2003, sedans (Panamera) since 2009, and all-electric vehicles (Taycan) since 2019 – regardless of body style, each promises engaging driving qualities that are honed and refined on the racetrack. “The visceral experience, the consistency from a 911 to a Panamera to a Taycan or Macan, it all comes from motorsport. That thread that runs from the first 356 to the current Taycan GTS is why Porsche races,” adds Porsche.

As automakers extensively test their vehicles in the freezing Arctic and sweltering desert climates, nothing compares to the unexpected dynamics of a competitive racing circuit where vehicles are forced to operate at their extreme limits. for hours.

“Nothing pushes a product harder than motorsport. No amount of road testing or even track testing can equal the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the 12 Hours of Sebring or even 100 minutes at Long Beach,” says Porsche.” All of this puts stress on the components, generates enormous amounts of intrinsic knowledge about efficiency, drivability, aerodynamics, electronics, etc… in a way that even the program of the most diligent test and development cannot. All this is sent back to Stuttgart and Weissach [Porsche’s development centers in Germany] to help engineers create our line of products, even those that, at first glance, seem to have nothing to do with a racing car.

Porsche’s commitment to racing – and its determination to use motorsport to improve the product – is reinforced at the corporate level. Other automakers receive their annual budgets largely from their marketing departments. Porsche, on the other hand, funds its racing programs from its research and development budgets. The organization, top to bottom, understands that racing improves its product.

But will the car manufacturer – credited with 20 victories at Le Mans (more than twice that of Ferrari) – ever manage to learn everything? Where spending hundreds of millions on groceries no longer makes sense? Has Porsche ever considered not chasing the checkered flag?

“No, we never considered withdrawing from racing,” Porsche explained. “The first Porsche ever built was entered in a hill climb the following weekend. It is in the DNA of the company. We are always involved in the races and do not start or cancel programs when campaigns and marketing strategies and even CEOs change.

The experience Porsche has gained in racing goes well beyond the mechanical attributes of its vehicles – racing enhances the engineering prowess, manufacturing processes and production on the road car side of the company. Imitating its racing teams, other departments at Porsche are trained in how to make decisions quickly, troubleshoot problems, and more. The various teams engage, for all intents and purposes, in their own form of competition which helps to speed up production and solve problems quickly.

“It’s intrinsic to how we develop a product – even those [vehicles] who never race – that we compete in motorsport. Removing racing would change the whole way a Porsche is developed,” the automaker confessed.

Source link

About Leonard J. Kelley

Check Also

Monkey 47 gin collaborates with Japanese fashion brand A Bathing Ape

Brand collaborations are the hottest retail trend right now. Whether it’s charities teaming up with …