Porsche Lists Panamera at Wrong Price in China

Porsche Dealership Lists Panamera for $18k, Causing Chaos

Luxury cars are a big deal in China, which is why a Chinese Porsche dealership’s accidental listing of a Panamera model for 18,000 USD has caused quite a stir

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Hayley Zhao
11:53 AM HKT, Sat February 4, 2023 2 mins read

A constant feature in many rap music videos and teenage boys’ fantasies, a Porsche sports car is often seen as the ultimate symbol of wealth and status. Given the brand’s high price point, however, a shiny new Porsche remains out of reach for most, especially in China, where buyers must be prepared to pay 120% of the original car price to cover import taxes.

Therefore, it is only understandable that things got a little out of hand when Chinese consumers thought that the Porsche Panamera was suddenly selling for much less in the country.

On the evening of January 29, several sports car lovers noticed that a Porsche dealership in Yinchuan, a city in North China, had listed the Porsche Panamera for only 124,000 RMB (about 18,000 USD) on WeChat, one of China’s most-used super-apps.

The unbelievable offer stated that customers were only required to put down a deposit of 911 RMB (about 135 USD) and to pay a down payment of 30,000 RMB (around 4,500 USD) to take home the car.

Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera typically sells for $92,400 in the U.S. Screengrab via Porsche USA

It didn’t take long for word about the ‘bargain’ to spread. The store received around 600 orders on January 29 before taking the listing down the next day.

When a reporter from the Chinese newspaper Jinan Daily phoned the dealership, a staff member confirmed the news but clarified that they only had a single Porsche Panamera in stock.

According to the employee, the first customer who snagged the deal would receive the vehicle, while everyone else would have their deposits refunded within 48 hours. The staff member also said that the store had reached an agreement with the first buyer but couldn’t reveal any further details.

Many buyers whose orders were canceled are understandably upset about how the situation has played out. Some have taken to Weibo, China’s top microblogging platform, to rant about getting excited over nothing.

Some netizens have expressed their envy over the fact that the first buyer got the car for such a low price, as Porsche staffers hinted that the deal went through.

However, things took a surprising turn when the ‘lucky’ customer came forward on February 1, saying that he had canceled his order. Apparently, a Porsche salesperson had explained that there had been a mistake with the listing and that the car was, in fact, selling for 1.24 million RMB (approximately 184,000 USD).

The buyer shared his experience on the Chinese social media forum Zhihu under the name Heishan.

Porsche, China, Zhihu

Although the first buyer’s purchase went through, as the receipt above proves, the Porsche dealership eventually admitted that they had made an error. Image via Zhihu

“I have been paying attention to the Panamera model recently. When I saw the 124k RMB price point, I paid the deposit without giving it a second thought,” he wrote. “When I told my wife about this, she told me to f**k off.”

When a salesperson phoned him the next day to explain that there had been an error on their part, Heishan canceled his order on the spot. Another sales representative rang him up the next day to confirm his cancellation and promised to send him a small gift on behalf of Porsche.

The disappointed car enthusiast hadn’t originally planned on sharing his experience with the public, as he didn’t want to make a big deal out of an honest mistake. However, when he read Porsche’s response in the news the next day, he felt that the car company turned his experience into a marketing opportunity by being intentionally vague with their answers.

“I don’t intend to force them to deliver on the deal, and I took the initiative to cancel the order. But by saying that the first order is valid and they have reached an agreement with me, they’re just trying to make themselves look good with this publicity stunt,” he wrote.

Panamera, porsche, luxury cars in China

Heishan sharing his experience with the whole Porsche fiasco on Zhihu. Screengrab via Zhihu

Many netizens echoed Heishan’s feelings and have called out Porsche for manipulating their customers. Some have even said that the authorities should further investigate the situation.

However, Lu Lirong, a lawyer from the Shanghai-based law firm Zhuye, told online finance media hub Yicai that Porsche has legal standing for not delivering the car at the inaccurately-listed price.

“When the distributor lists a price much lower than the market price, the distributor has the right to request the court or arbitration institution to revoke the deal with proper compensation to the buyer by citing a major misunderstanding under the Chinese Civil Code,” explained Lu.

Cover image via VCG

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