Some Chinese consumers who were considering purchasing a luxury sports car from an online ad discovered the deal was too good to be true. New, this Porsche was priced at 124,000 yuan ($18,300; £15,000) at a dealership in Yinchuan.
That’s nowhere near enough to cover the costs. The base price of a Panamera is $148,000. Hundreds of would-be purchasers rushed to take advantage of the promotion and secure what seemed to be a steal.
There was a “serious mistake in the listed retail price,” a representative from the German automaker told the BBC, so the advertisement was quickly removed. According to the sales process, “as there was only one vehicle in stock, Porsche Centre Yinchuan has communicated with the first customer who made an online refunded reservation fee and negotiated an agreeable outcome,” they said.
Additionally, “every bidder individually” was contacted by the dealership, and they were given an explanation and an apology. Porsche said it has refunded customers who paid the 911 yuan reservation fee after the incorrect information was posted on January 30. One Chinese internet user commented, “This is why I don’t buy Porsche lol,” after hearing about the incident.
Some saw it as merely a “well conducted” marketing strategy. The company was called “irresponsible” for not accepting the discounted offer. Someone else on social media said they were the first to try to buy the car, but they backed out when they saw the price. They said it was unethical to try to profit from someone else’s error.
Over twenty years ago, Porsche began selling automobiles in Mainland China. The company has been steadily increasing its presence in the world’s second largest economy over the past few years by opening new dealerships there. With a total of $6.2bn in sales through June of last year, the country has surpassed all other markets as Porsche’s largest single market worldwide.