Three, two, one – and off you go: Your foot presses the accelerator, the engine roars to life, and you take off. You watch as the needle on the tachometer surges. And, before you know it, you are hitting the first curve. Your heart begins to race just like the engine itself. This is the sound of Porsche; this is the feel of Porsche.
Speed, power, thrills: the Porsche Experience Center
In Le Mans, Silverstone, Leipzig, Atlanta and now Los Angeles, the most important sales region in California: The Porsche Experience Center provides everyone with a chance to get a real feel for the brand. “Real driver experiences are becoming much more important for Porsche – even in an increasingly digital world. Our cars stand for performance and driving fun. This is exactly what our guests get in our experience centers,” says Detlev von Platen, member of Porsche's Executive Board for Sales and Marketing.
The Porsche Experience Centers are part of the world of activities offered by the Volkswagen Group. The experience center in Los Angeles includes a display of race cars, a gourmet restaurant and a proving ground where drivers get a feel for speed and power on a 6.5 kilometer facility. Every visitor at the center can feel the fascination of the Porsche brand. The sixth experience center is currently being built in Shanghai. It is scheduled to open this year.
Insights into the world of Scania: the Marcus Wallenberg Hall
The experience centers are designed with two things in mind: offering visitors hands-on activities with the brand's models and the opportunity to try out vehicle systems for themselves – driving maneuvers, drift training and offroad practice. By contrast, the visitor centers are places where the brands offer insights into their world, their philosophies and new technologies – each in its own special way. In Södertälje, the headquarters of Scania, the Marcus Wallenberg Hall includes a display of historic trucks, buses and engines. Does that make it a museum? “The Marcus Wallenberg Hall is much more than that,” says Helen Melchert, the Director of the Scania visitor center.
The past and present of Scania – the origins of the brand and the new product line – are the focal points of the visitor center. A second theme is the future. “We show how Scania envisions the future of transport and the trend toward increased sustainability. We also demonstrate to visitors that Scania is well positioned to make this transformation and to play the leading role in it.”
The Marcus Wallenberg Hall was recently reopened. A new exhibition shows a model of a city, industry and long-distance transport. Scania demonstrates how we will live, work and move people and goods in the future. It also shows how the brand is fueling the transformation. Helen Melchert: “With energy efficiency, drive solutions for alternative fuels and smart, safe transport.”
People, cars and what moves them: the Autostadt in Wolfsburg
The Autostadt in Wolfsburg is the place that brings together the brands. “We are Volkswagen's central communication platform and the Group's ambassador,” says Otto Ferdinand Wachs, the Managing Director of the Autostadt.
But car lovers are far from the only people who are attracted to this unique world of mobility. People interested in art, culture, gourmet meals, architecture and design are drawn to it as well. Since it opened in 2000, more than 34 million people have visited the theme and experience park that is operated under the motto of People, cars and what moves them. “We are one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations,” Wachs says.
The brand pavilions with their displays and interactive exhibits; attractions like the cross-brand ZeitHaus that shows milestones from 125 years of automotive history; summer and winter events for the entire family; and learning opportunities for students and teachers: “All of these things have turned the Autostadt into a multimedia world of experiences. The center brings the Group's values and expertise to life,” Wachs says.
The Autostadt puts people in the spotlight. It is a place of dialogue where people can come together and converse and where visitors can enjoy excellent services, feel at home and develop the desire to come back for another visit. It is a process in which guests become customers: The Autostadt is the world's largest pick-up center for new vehicles. Otto Ferdinand Wachs says: “During the 16 year history of the Autostadt, we have handed over 2.5 million vehicles to their proud owners.”