Porsche North America decided that it needed to add a distribution center in the northeast to complement Atlanta GA, and Ontario CA. Citing good access to major arteries, and easy reach to the Washington DC to Boston corridor, they selected Easton, PA as the site. They built a 130,000 ft2 warehouse in an industrial park which is also home to an even larger BMW warehouse. It is also a regional training center. Although I missed the grand opening last fall, the PCA club held their monthly meeting in May at the new facility. A few of us attended mostly to see the warehouse.
I was expecting a nondescript building with no markings, but I was wrong. It was a big box, but the entrance had the logo and styling of a Porsche dealership. By the time I arrived, about 30 cars were already present, and more were arriving. Mostly newer cars, but there was a lovely 914 and a beautiful early 356. The action, however, was inside. After the meeting formalities, the tour began.
The building is only 8 months old, so you would expect it to be clean. But you would think they had just moved in that day. You could see our face in the warehouse floors, and I thought we should have been wearing surgical scrubs and booties. A member of the group immediately asked if they spent the day cleaning up to make a good impression for us. They said no, it always looks like this. I believe them. In fact, it is so clean and neat that it is boring. Aisles and aisles of small parts, followed by aisles and aisles of pallet racks. There are very few places where you can see identifiable parts since almost everything is properly packaged. The most interesting area was where returned engines were located. There you could peer into the crates and see full engines returned under warranty. You know there had to be some great stories associated with damaged Porsche engines! Sadly, we were informed that the parts for older cars were mostly in Germany, with some stock in Atlanta.
The training center was more interesting. It is just as clean, but it is filled with every variant of new Porsche. A Panamera Turbo in blue was the best-looking version of that car that I have seen. It was there next to a 911 turbo cabriolet, a Cayman S, A few Cayennes, etc. The engine and transmission training areas were equally spotless even though there were engines and trannys on the stands. The dual-clutch PDK transmission was particularly interesting as the training manager explained its inner workings. Training is constant, and the manager had just returned from Germany where they were trained on the new hybrid systems.
An interesting evening, but as we walked out through the parking lot and viewed the impressive array of cars, the old ones still looked the best and required very little training or equipment from their owners to stay that way.