Report: Porsche mulling subscription service to dissuade limited-edition speculators

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2017 Porsche 911 R 3/4 front Porsche

In a move designed to prevent speculators from snapping up limited-edition cars and selling them at a hefty profit, Porsche is considering a plan to lease, not sell, its most exclusive models.

The idea, which Porsche CEO Oliver Blume outlined for Autocar, addresses the common problem of people buying limited-production, high-performance cars and almost immediately flipping them. “Our interest is to sell cars for drivers, not dealers,” Blume said. “We put so much love into them, with the goal of people driving them not to put them in a garage.”

2015 Porsche 917 Spyder 3/4 front on track
2015 Porsche 917 Spyder Porsche

You could argue that automakers bear some responsibility for the problem because they regularly build such vehicles and tend to offer them to favored customers. Although that creates intense brand loyalty, it also alienates enthusiasts who might have the means, but not the access, to buy a car like the Porsche 918 Spyder. In that way, the automakers help create the demand that speculators profit from.

Porsche is particularly concerned with this issue because it builds a wide variety of low-production vehicles that often command astronomical prices on the secondary market. Buyers were, for example, reportedly willing to spend as much as $800,000 for the 911 R, which carried a list price of $160,000 when it arrived in 2016.

Blume says leasing, not selling, highly desirable models could alleviate the problem by essentially taking those cars off the secondary market for a fixed period of time. “It is one solution,” he says.

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