WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY AND A MASSIVE NEW FACILITY, MONMOUTH COUNTY’S EXCLUSIVE PORSCHE RETAILER IS CRUISING INTO A NEW ERA

BY AMANDA MCCOY • PHOTOS BY AMESSE PHOTOGRAPHY

Our customers hung posters of Porsches on their walls as kids and young adults,” explained Patrick Hauser, the general manager of Porsche Monmouth, the county’s exclusive dealership for the luxury, high-performance German automaker. According to the GM, who has been with the dealership since 2013, the reasons his customers choose Porsche extend far beyond flashy eye candy and luxury features. It’s the brand’s legacy that brings people through the dealership doors. “Porsche is the premier sports car manufacturer in the world,” he continued. “Our heritage is unmatched; no other brand has won more races in history. You know you are getting a car with engineering heritage and safety that is unmatched in the retail car market.”

Porsche Monmouth first opened under the moniker Schneider Nelson Porsche in 1977, operating out of a shared showroom and shop with Audi before eventually relocating to its current West Long Branch address. A part of the Penske Automotive Group, the authorized Porsche retailer carries a diverse menu of new products, from the iconic 911 to the brand’s sleek, modern SUVs, along with a selection of preowned vehicles. Service, genuine parts, and financing departments are also on site.

While the retailer is a large, full-service operation, according to its general manager, it functions more like an intimate high-end boutique than auto dealership. The white-glove shopping experience is custom tailored to each individual, and customers can choose exactly how they want to purchase a vehicle, whether that be through video chat, phone, text, email, or in-house at the dealership’s new 30,000-square-foot facility.

“We are looking to build relationships with our customers, not transactional relationships. We treat the store like a restaurant. If you go to a good restaurant, you will tell your friends and family that the service was great, the food was great, and the atmosphere was fantastic. These are the three key aspects we try to nail with every visitor on every visit.”

H&S Spread

The new facility celebrated its grand opening in November 2018, nearly quintupling its square footage and debuting numerous upgrades. The showroom expanded from five cars to 13, the service shop added eight additional garage bays, and a new fitting center was implemented to provide customers an even more individualized, bespoke experience.

“With our personalized fitting center, customers can come in and build the car in a 3-D model on the computer. They can touch and feel every leather, wood, and paint sample. Not only can they see everything digitally, but they can touch it physically.”

The Porsche brand has also enjoyed an eventful few years. Porsche’s legendary flagship sports car, the 911, which has been immortalized throughout its 56-year history in films like Gone in 60 Seconds and Annie Hall, was redesigned for model year 2020 with more power, a wider stance, and cutting-edge safety technology. When the eighth-generation sports car arrived in his showroom, Hauser explained it flew out the door just about as fast as it could hit 0-60 (which is three seconds flat, by the way).

“We sold more than half our inventory from May to June, and we will probably be sold out until winter.”

The introduction of the Macan in 2015 was a major game changer. For the past three consecutive years, the compact SUV has been Porsche’s best-selling vehicle in not only the Long Branch dealership, but the entire country. A 2019 refresh provided even more visual and performance allure, including a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and upgraded interior technology. Hauser personally understands the appeal, as he’s currently driving his second Macan in three years.

“It’s the perfect combination of sports car and utility vehicle. I just upgraded my ‘18 to a new 2020 model with all the new tech. With three children of my own, it allows me to have them all in the car while also having the ability to drive a really fun car that makes me smile every time.”

Hauser, who got his start in the high-end automotive market in 2007 at a small Mercedes-Benz dealership, joined Porsche Monmouth in 2013 and has since worked his way up through several management roles, beginning as an assistant manager in the sales department and eventually taking the reins as general manager in June 2018. He’s already helped realize several accolades for the store during his short tenure as GM, including the Premier Dealer award by Porsche for 2020, which recognizes the top 25 dealerships in the U.S., and his was the only store in the Garden State to receive the honor. Last year, Automotive News ranked Porsche Monmouth the number six store to work for out of 17,000. It was one of 33 Penske Automotive Group dealerships to make the list.

“That is an incredible achievement. It is all about having the right culture. If your employees feel taken care of, they look to help each other, and the customer will benefit from that.

People like working here and like working with each other, and the customers feel that. Customers will just come and hang out sometimes. [laughs]” When asked the secret to sustaining success, particularly amidst the ever-shifting tides of industry changes and trends, the general manager responded that it’s vital to know how to adapt.

“You either adapt or get left behind. The industry has completely changed with the internet since I joined the business. The customer is no longer hopping from dealer to dealer to try to find a car. Customers are extremely educated and know what they are specifically looking for. If you are not pricing your cars aggressively, you are not going to have anyone contacting the dealer. We are always innovating the ways we do business and constantly listening to our customers on how they want to do business.”

And when the COVID-19 pandemic rippled throughout the Garden State, Hauser knew the team needed to find safe and innovative ways to reshape the shopping experience. Adaptability would prove to be key once again.

 

“With COVID-19 hitting America, we had to adjust to how our customers are shopping. We now use Facetime, do Zoom meetings, and send tons of pictures through text and email. We use a 50-state notary that allows the customer to sign all the paperwork from home and work, and we then ship the car right to their front door. I had one customer say this was the easiest buying experience of his life; we had a Zoom call, then he came and picked up his car and was in and out of the dealership in seven minutes. I only see this style of shopping continuing in the future.”

Porsche Monmouth
280 NJ-36, West Long Branch / 732.935.7600 /
porschemonmouth.com