This writer counted down the days to the media preview and grand opening of the Porsche North America headquarters in Atlanta which was held on Thursday, May 7, 2015. The Porsche Experience Center sits on 26.4-acres is located just minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is so easy to find when traveling down Interstate 75, just exit right at Porsche Avenue.
The tour around the $100M facility was awe-inspiring. The stage where they were setting up for the evening’s $1 million-plus fete was awe-inspiring. The lighting and the setup was the perfect for an intimate evening and performance by a Natasha Bedingfield and Kimberly Locke; it was just that chic, theatrical and imaginative.
Seated on the dais during the press conference were Christian Koenig, vice president public relations; Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America; Georgia Governor Nathan Deal; Matthias Müller is a German manager at Volkswagen AG, and a chief executive officer of Porsche AG; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Bernhard Maier, member of the executive board, sales and marketing, Porsche AG.
“This is going to be a showplace for Porsche and is also going to be a showplace for Georgia and for the city of Atlanta as well,” says Gov. Nathan Deal. “This a multifaceted facility. Not only is it going to offer the driver experience on the track, it is going to be a place where technicians can be trained. They are already reaching out to our technical colleges to enlist them in the training process. It is a great day for Georgia. We know you [Porsche Cars of North America] are going to be a good corporate citizen and we look forward to many, many years of a great relationship.”
The idea of job creation alone puts a big smile on Deal’s face when this deal was embarked upon. The facility, located at One Porsche Drive, will house 400 employees with 100 of them new to the state.
Mayor Reed adds, “More than four years ago when I was invited to dinner by Detlev von Platen to discuss the prospect of him building this facility, after we had dinner, I remembered saying we needed to go see the big guy – set up a meeting with Governor Deal. This has been a long tough four years and look where we are. When you have moments like this, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.”
“It became very clear, very early at the top of the list of choices was Atlanta,” von Platen enlightens about the decision to build their North American headquarters here and to remain in Atlanta. PCNA has been operating in Atlanta since 1998. “We have a great university system and a great quality of life. The only thing we wanted to make sure is we had enough space to make this happen.”
Sitting on the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the PCNA headquarters is at the “center of the city’s aerotropolis concept,” explains Reed. “We are already being contacted by businesses that want to build hotels around the Porsche customer service experience center. We already know we host 95 million passengers [per year] within a mile of where we sit right now. It is our hope that folks are coming in town are choosing to use what is a best in class and world class facility. I can easily say this is one of the most enjoyable days I have had being the mayor of the City of Atlanta. I feel we have created genuine friendships along the way. I am deeply grateful you made the decision to invest again in our city.”
The Porsche Experience Center also includes classic cars. Visitors and corporate groups can hone their driving skills, reserve meeting space in the fully-equipped business center that features 13,000 square feet of conference and event space, view classic Porsche automobiles or dine at Restaurant 356, aptly named after the first production Porsche. And most importantly, take a spin around the 1.6-mile Driver Development Track that runs through the courtyard and includes six instructor-led driving modules: The Handling Circuit, Off-Road Course, Dynamics Area, Low Friction Handling Circuit, Low Friction Circle and the only Kick Plate in North America.
The experience center has been specifically designed as a destination for the public, including automotive enthusiasts and Porsche customers.
Check out all the fun in the photos below.