When a Porsche AG dealership in China posted an online advertisement for the latest Panamera sports car, it wasn’t the sleek curves of the motor that grabbed the most attention — it was the bargain price.
Drivers dreaming of a touch of luxury thought their luck was in after the dealership appeared to be offering the car for a bargain 124,000 yuan ($18,000), about one-eighth of the actual starting price of 998,000 yuan (148,000).
After hundreds of eagle-eyed consumers put down reservation fees of 911 yuan, Porsche acknowledged the dealership in the northern city of Yinchuan had uploaded information containing “a serious mistake in the listed retail price.”
Cue an embarrassing backtrack by the firm — and much disappointment on social media platform Weibo.
Upon realizing its mistake, the dealership took down the incorrect information immediately, a spokeswoman for the the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker said in response to a query from Bloomberg News.
The gaffe wasn’t bad for everyone. Porsche said it had been in touch with the first person who made an online reservation and “negotiated an agreeable outcome” regarding the one vehicle the dealership had in stock. It didn’t elaborate.
Porsche contacted all of the other bidders individually to explain the situation and apologize, and will refund reservation fees within 48 hours, the spokeswoman said.
Porsche’s China sales totaled $6.2 billion in the first half of 2022, making it the luxury car firm’s largest market. It sold 46,664 vehicles in China during the period — about 30% of global sales.