HAPEVILLE, Ga. -- An importer of some of the most expensive cars moving through the Port of Brunswick broke ground Tuesday on its North American headquarters, highlighting its commitment to Georgia and its expectation of a growing market for luxury products.
Porsche is investing $100 in an office building and 1.6 mile test track for customers of its sports cars next to Atlanta’s giant airport. It is building a similar track in Los Angeles.
The United States accounts for half of the company’s sales, and the investment shows it expects to see more, according to Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.
"We wanted to make a very clear statement. We believe growth is here in the future. Porsche has a great potential here,” he said. "We wanted to make a statement that we believe in this market."
Gov. Nathan Deal also sees it as a sign that of Georgia’s rising status.
"It is the recognition of them having chosen here that Georgia is not just a Southeastern state. It is a state with national implications and national importance,” he said.
Porsche is one of eight foreign car makers with offices on Colonel’s Island at the Port of Brunswick.
For the year so far, the company has sold 28,226 cars in the United States, an increase of 13 percent over last year.
The company reported selling 3,211 cars in October across the United States, up from 2,270 the same month a year ago. Sales of its 911 model rose 34 percent while its Cayenne sports-utility vehicle soared 64 percent compared to last October.
Deal stressed that Georgia is an automotive state. While only Kia Motors assembles vehicles here, dozens of companies supply assembly plants in neighboring states.
Ironically, the Porsche offices and track will be on a portion of a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant that closed in 2006 after 59 years. Last month, the city changed the name of the street it faces from Henry Ford II Avenue to Porsche Avenue.