- The Hoffman Porsche dealership has rented a racetrack and invited its loyal customers to test-drive a new model or drive their own personal Porsches on June 27.
- The dealership hosted a similar event last year and sold cars after the test-drives.
- The idea for the experience stemmed from sales personnel at Hoffman Auto Group who are certified racers.
EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut — A nearby racetrack has become one the best sales tools at Hoffman Porsche.
The sports car dealership has rented the Lime Rock Drivers Club, a 1.5-mile racing circuit in Lakeville, Connecticut, and invited about 40 of its loyal customers to test-drive one of the 20 models it will bring, including a 2014 Porsche Carrera 4S Cabriolet and possibly a 2015 Porsche Macan S. Participants also can drive their own Porsches.
The experience is scheduled for June 27.
"This event is tied to the racing heritage that Porsche has," Christian Miller, director of marketing and communications at Hoffman Auto Group, told Edmunds. "Our customers appreciate that heritage and (besides) how often can you take one around a professional track at speeds you're not accustomed to?"
Hoffman Porsche launched the Lime Rock experience last year to rave reviews from its customers. Not only did co-owner Bradley Hoffman receive about eight glowing notes from the 30 customers who were invited, but also it led to at least three direct sales immediately following the gathering, a nice return considering the store sells about 18 new Porsches a month.
"These were individuals who attended and said, 'Hey, I like this new 911. I'm going to buy one,' and they did show up in the showroom later to do that," Miller said.
Miller planned a similar event for its Hoffman Audi New London dealership, but on a smaller scale.
The Porsche Lime Rock experience costs $25,000 to host.
The idea to rent the racetrack came from the sales personnel at Hoffman Auto Group, Miller said. Many of them are certified racers and they saw an opportunity, particularly in Porsche customers, to be able to enjoy their cars on a new level.
"The automotive marketplace has changed so much in the past six, eight months in how consumers shop and engage themselves with dealerships and the product," Miller said.
"We've made experiential a big part of our business because that's what customers want."
Edmunds says: The need for speed can drive a car shopper straight to a dealership.