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Politics

Evan Christodoulou Talks to TNH about Largest Car Dealership in the World

March 30, 2018
Demetris Tsakas

JERICHO, NY – Evan Christodoulou- Porsche Roslyn Dealer Principal/General Manager, spoke with The National Herald about the new five-story dealership which is nearing completion and will be one of the largest buildings ever built to house a car dealership.

Christodoulou gave TNH a tour of the facilities under construction at 125 South Service Rd in Jericho and pointed out with great pride that the new building will not only be the largest in America and the whole world, but also the most modern one that has ever been built.

The largest dealership until the end of the last decade was built in South Africa. Later, another one was built in Florida, 67,000 sq. km, which was considered the largest in the world. The Porsche Roslyn dealership has a total area of ??125,000 sq. ft., or twice as much as the Florida dealership.

The project was delayed a bit because, as Christodoulou pointed out, it is being built at a crucial moment for the global automotive industry, when an unprecedented revolution is taking place with all the significance of the word in the hybrid and electric cars sector as well as in the driverless car sector.

The delay, as Christodoulou said, was due to two other factors. The first in the fact that everything – even the furniture – had to be made according to Porsche specifications and by specialist manufacturers.

The second was due to needed changes in the architectural plans, Christodoulou said, which was not only time consuming but also costly, since they had to hire experts and lawyers for the necessary permits.

“We are almost ready to move in. The new dealership is not only the largest in the world but also the most modern. We were delayed because of the development of electric cars and the changes we made in the original designs to make the dealership the most modern in the world. We will have charging systems that will charge the batteries in twenty minutes for the new Porsche Mission E electric cars that will enter the market in August 2019.

“Every electrical outlet in the building comes with a portable device charger and with data, because the technological revolution will change the given sales. Even the stickers on the performance and price of the car that are placed on the windows will be fazed out and the information will be provided in digital form,” said Christodoulou.

The new building will enable the expatriate entrepreneur to increase jobs and, most importantly, create ideal working conditions.

“Because we expect to reach at least one hundred people, we have created ideal working conditions. That’s why we built the gym and other amenities, as well as creating a barbecue area on the roof. The difference in our times in both cars and business management is made by technology. That’s why we have state-of-the-art phones and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

“Now most cars are leased and every two or three years customers have the option of leasing a newer version. Especially in the three major markets, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, 75% of cars are leased. CRM is a valuable tool for the Sales Department because before the end of the period it reminds the seller and the customer that the time has come to renew,” he added.

Asked about the car service area, he said it will be in the basement and will be of a high standard, larger, and run for six days while the sales department will operate seven days a week.

“The Mercedes and BMW dealerships are closed on Sundays due to a Long Island tradition, however, we will be open on Sundays for a few hours,” Christodoulou said.

Regarding the used car market, he said that “the market for used Porsche cars in the last three years has increased by 25% per year. There are certified cars which means they have some years of guarantee that are attractive to customers.”

Asked about the Porsche-buyer demographics, he said the data is changing and today, compared to the previous decade, more women prefer Porsches. “More and more young professionals prefer Porsche. The market is changing due to the growing purchasing power of the Asian market. Needless to say that in 2017 the Chinese market for Porsche surpassed the American. In 2018, Porsche is set to sell 60,000 cars.”

Referring to leasing, he said that in the New York metropolitan area leases make up almost 70% of sales. Used cars are less than 50%, because they usually buy them in cash or with financing.

“In the West, most buy rather than lease. The automakers year by year offer something more sophisticated in terms of technology and motivate customers to opt for the latest model or newer version.”

Asked about the percentage of customers returning to trade in cars for the newer version, Christodoulou said, “It’s a common phenomenon. There are customers who change cars every month, or two weeks, and there are others with 6 Porsches, because for Porsche lovers the cost doesn’t matter.”

Referring to buying trends in the U.S., he noted the preference for SUVs and that all car manufacturers started to produce four-wheel drive cars.

“For Porsche, sales are up for the Macan, whose market is growing every year, followed by the Cayenne. Even the four-door Panamera is a favorite for women because it is more sporty. In spring, the best version of ‘TurboS’, which has 700 horsepower and is a combination of electric and gas engines. The electric engine gives tremendous torque that the gasoline cannot,” Christodoulou added.

“The best versions will be in the hybrid and the electric cars. In 2019, we have a brand new model called ‘Mission E’ that is completely electric and superior to Tesla with a radius of 500 miles and 80% charge of the battery in twenty minutes. I am sure that in five years from today this will be considered a bit slow. Porsche has invested in battery technology and its electric cars start at $150,000.”

As for diesel cars, he said that “before the Volkswagen scandal, everyone believed that diesel was everything. In Europe, 70% were diesel-powered. The technology had reached very high, but after the pollution scandal, the diesel cars fell out of favor. In America, we only had Cayenne diesel vehicles that we could not sell for two years because the engine was Audi. Restrictions have now been lifted.”

With regard to the recent JD Power review, Christodoulou pointed out that Porsche has always earned remarkable reviews because the brand name, consistency, and quality count for customers.

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