The millennial generation is, without a doubt, the riskiest market to target, especially when it comes to cars. In fact, one out of every four adults in that demographic doesn't even have a driver's license. Either millennials are comfortable with Uber or public transit, dismiss internal combustion engines as sources of global warming, or simply can't afford a vehicle.
But, according to Bloomberg, Porsche is willing to bet that if they had enough cash, young adults would jump at the chance to get behind the wheel of a Cayman, Macan, or Panamera to feel the rush of a luxury ride. That's why the auto manufacturer is introducing the vehicular equivalent of a time-sharing program similar to how people can afford condos in the tropics.
The scheme is called car-sharing and is currently being tested as a pilot program at select cities in the U.S. By renting out the vehicle for a short period of time, Porsche is hoping the experience of driving one of its luxurious models will rub off on the young drivers to the point where they'd want to buy one.
“We want to offer a choice in how people experience the thrill of driving a Porsche,” said Klaus Zellmer, head of Porsche Cars North America. “Consumers want options across a spectrum from access to ownership.”
In Atlanta, the automaker retailers have introduced a subscription-based program called Porsche Drive. The project allows those who signed up access to a Porsche Boxter, Macan or a 718 Cayman for four hours at $269 a stint. Another incentive lets customers dish out $2, 909 for a week's worth of driving behind the wheel of a 911.
Meanwhile, Porsche in Los Angeles hopes to start a second-stage program called Porsche Host on Oct. 8, 2018. Teaming up with car rental firm Turo, the new initiative, called Porsche Host, hopes to attract those already car-sharing to check out the automaker's test track in the city. There, drivers get to learn more about the skills of driving a sporty luxury vehicle and how to accentuate the road experience.
It's a good bet that they'll get more than a few interested drivers, given that Porsche is the fourth-most requested brand in Turo's fleet. Only BMW, Tesla and Mercedes are more popular with customers on Turo, which has eight million members.
Porsche believes these programs double as an extended test drive that will draw younger drivers towards buying one of their vehicles. Don't count on them reaching every one of them. There are always going to be a few unrepentant eco-friendly kids still riding bikes to the very end.