After the re-opening of “Porsche Now”, we took the chance to talk with Mr. Theodoros Papadopoulos, Head of Porsche Division, Motodynamics S.A., about what the special experience store has to offer and about the legend of the iconic brand.
Walking into a shopping mall and finding a supercar is certainly not a common thing. But then again nothing about Porsche can be described as “common”. The German brand is a lot more than a car manufacturer and that’s the exact feeling you get when you visit the “Porsche Now” experience store. It’s not only a way to attract new audiences and bring visitors to a commercial zone in direct contact with the rich history and DNA of Porsche. It is also a meeting point for the brand’s friends. A discreetly luxurious environment, designed to connect the idea of the future sport car with the needs and desires of a new lifestyle.
How did the “Porsche Now” experience store idea come up?
The “Porsche Now” is a general format developed by Porsche to make the most of a pop-up presence in high-traffic areas (like shopping malls) and respond to the “be where I am” request from Porsche customers and friends alike.
As far as the Greek adaptation of the format is concerned, our idea was to create a friendly, accessible area within the brand new “experience” section of the premium mall in Athens, where visitors can discover the values, history and future of Porsche. At the same time, our aim is to use the pop-up store as a platform from where we could deploy an array of marketing activities for the brand’s customers and the company’s prospects.
The Greek store is unique among the 26 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, even though there are some other strong markets for the brand in this area. Is Porsche Hellas showing the way to all the other countries?
Indeed, the “Porsche Now” experience store in Athens is the first to be launched in Central and Eastern Europe and, as such, it is also the pilot which has been embraced by both our organization and Porsche’s regional office. We are quite honoured and proud of this. The same is true with regard to many of our ideas and initiatives taken over the years; initiatives which have been highlighted as top-notch within our region.
Talk us through the experience store. What can a Porsche enthusiast find/do here?
Lots of things. So, even if you’re not already a Porsche enthusiast, you can easily become one! Apart from a display vehicle (changed frequently so people can enjoy different models of our range), there is a library with material for those who want to delve into Porsche’s rich history, a rotating artwork exhibition, a configuration lounge with a large high-tech touch screen, games and drawing material for children, etc., etc. Visitors will also get to see various items from the Porsche Drivers Collection which are on display and available for sale. To top it all, there is even a dedicated parking slot at the mall’s latest parking facilities just below the new section, complete with a charging station for our electric cars. But first and foremost, one can expect a warm welcome from our dedicated personnel which is there to answer all relevant questions a visitor might have.
Porsche is known for the design aspect of its cars and its other products. Can you give us more details about the design process of the store?
The design philosophy of the store adheres to Porsche’s principles of instant identification and connection with the brand. It meets Porsche’s highest quality standards and it is fresh and distinct. Simple, elegant and timeless lines, along with warm materials (like wood) were used to create a welcoming environment and a relaxed ambience.
Only a few months of operation had passed before the pandemic struck. What was the visitors’ first reaction? What were they most interested in?
It is true that the unfortunate circumstance of the pandemic allowed us to welcome the friends of the brand only for a short period before the lockdown of the mall. Even so, what we have already experienced was people’s keen interest in trying out different things, like the Augmented Reality application. Naturally, our centre-stage exhibit (the new Cayenne Coupe) attracted a lot of attention. But to me, the greatest moments were when I observed the reactions of our young friends, kids that were truly fascinated by the brand.
Talking about the Porsche DNA, what is Porsche for you?
In its DNA Porsche epitomizes all that one could ever dream of in the perfect car. The brand’s slogan is “Your everyday sportscar”. I think it is a phrase that sums up everything: the sheer exhilaration of driving a sports car in everyday life is simply unbeatable. And it is very, very much Porsche unique.
And what do you think Porsche is to people?
It is a dream that turns into an aspiration, fueled by passion. And a delivered promise, every day.
What is your favourite model and why?
This will probably come as no surprise, but I would not be doing justice to the fascinating models in Porsche’s range by leaving any of them out of my “favourites” list. Each one has its distinct characteristics that make it truly unique and at the same time an unmistakable ambassador of the Porsche spirit. Having said that, however, I would say that my pick these days would be the innovative and brand new Taycan, our first venture in the world of electromobility. Our first ever all-electric sports car sets new standards, bringing the future to the present. And yes, for those who wonder, the Porsche DNA is all over its soul. A “soul, electrified” according to the Taycan moto.
You have been part of Motodynamics for 18 years. Is this company the perfect fit for this special brand, and why?
Motodynamics is my second family and my professional life is inextricably linked to it. Through thick and thin, what has made this a lifelong relationship are the company’s values and ethical standards, set forth straight from its major shareholders, since its establishment. A world-leading brand represented by an organization that scores high on morals, financial health, integrity, fairness and a “no-nonsense” attitude towards its customers, employees and shareholders – I think you have the answer.
Having held more than a few senior roles within the company, do you personally feel Porsche is the perfect fit for you?
Through the years, I had the opportunity to serve Motodynamics from different positions within the organization, having the privilege not only of becoming familiarised with almost all the brands that our Group distributes, but also of taking on senior responsibilities in a variety of fields, both in Greece and in our operations abroad. Each one of them has a special place in my heart, as it is connected with great people and a wealth of experiences, many hard-worked successes and some learning failures. Porsche is the latest in this chain and I must admit it is the most intriguing and challenging so far.
What are your future plans for Porsche in Greece?
The future can be nothing less than what the brand and its Greek customers deserve. We live in fascinating times, with digitalization, connectivity and electrification shaping the rules of the game for the years to come. Tackling the challenges of this new era by ensuring a smooth transition to it, will be a main task for us.