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New chief for Porsche Cars Australia

Luxury specialist: Porsche’s incoming boss Sam Curtis brings extensive corporate and retail experience with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi to the role.

Porsche names experienced luxury car brand executive Sam Curtis as its incoming MD

Porsche logo13 Dec 2013

By TERRY MARTIN

PORSCHE Cars Australia has named experienced Australian motor industry executive Sam Curtis as its incoming managing director, effective March 1, 2014.

Mr Curtis has spent the past three-and-a-half years as chief executive and dealer principal of the large Melbourne Mercedes-Benz dealership 3 Point Motors, which operates across three sites in inner-city Fairfield and Kew.

He was previously general manager of sales at Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, having joined the three-pointed star brand in 2008 after a year as sales operations manager at BMW Group Australia.

Prior to that, Mr Curtis had a stint as southern region area manager for Audi Australia, and also spent two years as dealer principal at Bib Stillwell BMW in Melbourne from 2003 to 2005.

Clearly bringing a high level of German luxury car retail and sales operations experience to his new role, 55-year-old Mr Curtis fills the position made vacant when Michael Winkler left Porsche Cars Australia earlier this year.

As GoAuto has reported, Porsche announced in May that it had appointed Michael Bartsch as its new managing director, effective September 1.

A former sales and marketing director at Porsche Cars Australia who had spent the past eight years overseeing Porsche’s North American market, Mr Bartsch subsequently elected to remain in the United States rather than return home to Australia, taking up a new job in August as vice-president of Infiniti for the Americas region.

Mr Winkler left the Australian subsidiary as planned, leaving the senior executive team to otherwise operate as normal until head office found a replacement. Last month, Mr Winkler joined Jaguar Land Rover Australia as managing director.

In announcing the appointment of Mr Curtis today, Porsche’s vice-president in charge of its overseas regions and emerging markets, Helmut Broeker, said the incoming chief of the German sportscar marque would play a key role in the brand’s continued growth in Australia, which will be boosted by the arrival of the Macan compact SUV in June.

“Sam brings to Porsche two decades of experience at both wholesale and retail levels of the luxury car business in Australia,” Mr Broeker said.

“His knowledge and proven skills are exactly what Porsche needs as it continues its growth in Australia, which will accelerate in 2014 with the introduction of the new sporty compact SUV, the Macan.”

Porsche is steering towards another record sales year in 2013, having racked up 1715 sales to the end of November – up 29 per cent over the same period last year, with the Cayenne SUV accounting for 60 per cent of the total.

Only the Panamera is in negative territory, with the Cayenne, 911, Boxster and Cayman all experiencing year-on-year growth.

Supply permitting, the arrival of the Macan is expected to almost double Porsche’s sales volume and take the brand beyond 3000 sales a year in Australia.

“It’s a privileged time to be joining Porsche with its current line-up of great cars and the imminent arrival of the new Macan,” Mr Curtis said.

“And I am certainly delighted to be given the opportunity and responsibility of overseeing the further strengthening of Porsche in Australia.”

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