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    Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    I am an American now living in Aix-en Provence for a year with my family. I just read in the Herald Tribune that Greenpeace protested Porsche in Stuttgart for being a gas guzzling pig, even as Porsche was announcing hybrid technology. I came over from Washington, DC where Cayennes are quite normal (as are other SUVs of course), but I have not seen one Cayenne (and very few SUVs) in Provence during our two weeks here thus far. I am planning to order a CTT for Leipzig pickup in January, so we can have it for our last six months here (cannot do it now because of the 22% VAT that would apply). All of this prologue leads me to ask two questions:

    1. Am I setting myself up for confrontation and vandalism by getting a CTT for driving in Europe?

    2. Assuming that I should not expect many problems, what tips would you advise to reduce worry or risk?

    I have owned many Porsches over the years, and am certainly not shy of what people think. I am just trying to get a feel for the social environment here in Europe.

    Thanks in advance...

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    I think it varies greatly from one local area to the next. In some parts, no doubt, people may frown upon cars that guzzle more fuel out of some notion of environmentalist correctness (even to the extent of inflicting vandalism), and yet, in other areas, people wouldn't even look twice at a CTT.

    If I were in Aix-en-Provence, I would be a little more careful than I would need to be in somewhere like London. Here, affluent moms use CTTs to take their kids to school!

    You could choose the model insignia delete option....

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    You could choose the model insignia delete option....



    Perhaps military camouflage would be more appropriate (and in keeping with the vehicle)

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Ironically for greenpeace, the Porsche 911 turbo is actually one of the cleanest cars out there.

    I think this is part of their campaign, along with some euro governments, to ban high polluting cars (which includes many sports cars) from its roads.

    They probably attacked the wrong company, since Porsche's cars, as well as production methods are amongst the most environment friendly in the world.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Europe is very regional and no 'one agreed sentiment' on these issues.
    I can speak for Switzerland in saying that you should have no problems driving it here. It is however expected that you switch the engine off when stuck in traffic or at a stop light for anything more than 30 seconds or so - otherwise you will get some resentment both from nearby pedestrians and other motorists. I'd have thought (European region dependant) you may have more problems dealing with jealous people vandalising (or stealing) your car rather than environmental activists. My advice would be to just use common sense in where you drive it and park, and leave the environmental issue up to your own conscience - perhaps your overall carbon footprint is still below average?
    Don't let these issues deter from your excitement at buying a beautiful car and using it to explore a beautiful region - enjoy!

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Wonderbar,
    I can not tell you about france, but I think the european way of reacting to beautiful (expensive) cars is very much jealousy, whereas americans tend to react with admiration. In the US, people really like it when someone makes big buck by working hard. In the netherlands, people are jealous, and often camouflage that with saying that a big car is bad for the environment. Be prepared for people being envious.
    *hi-jack mode on*
    btw, Aix-en-provence... Airbus?!? As an aircraft engineer, I would almost go there, but it bounced, probably going to seattle next year!
    *hi-jack-mode off*
    -Joost-

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Thanks for the input! I finally saw my first Cayenne S (a new Meteor gray model) last night on the road to Avignon. The driver was driving respectfully, as opposed to several other drivers of lesser cars who were often right on the tail of my mid-sized Peugeot wagon even in the middle lane.

    The Cayenne looked terrific, and just reinforced my conviction to get my car soon. The car's design really stands out here--very powerful, clean and solid. I was thrilled to see it...

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    Joost said:
    Wonderbar,
    I can not tell you about france, but I think the european way of reacting to beautiful (expensive) cars is very much jealousy, whereas americans tend to react with admiration. In the US, people really like it when someone makes big buck by working hard. In the netherlands, people are jealous, and often camouflage that with saying that a big car is bad for the environment. Be prepared for people being envious.



    Very good analysis. Especially in Germany, the mood is pretty weird. Even intellectuals (or especially them) are getting very aggressive during discussions about environmental stuff. One of our Cayenne tires has been already punctured with a knife, the air went out very slowly, thanks to god that we have a tire pressure control system. I called the police and they told me that this could be considered a homicide attempt if we or somebody were seriously injured in a possible accident. A couple of words later, the police officer recommended to sell the Cayenne and to get a "real" family car which doesn't stick out. Germany is the country where you can drive an Audi stationwagon for 100000 Euro but hell breaks loose if your neighbors/customers/friends see you driving a Boxster for 60000 Euro.

    On a well known leftist discussion forum, some people even called for other people to intentionally scratch Cayenne whereever they see one to make the owner pay for his environmental "sins". This is insane.

    On the other hand, half of the population over here are driving Diesel cars, most of them older than two or three years, not to speak about the many cars which are older than 5 years. The german media discusses only CO2 output right now, they forget the other stuff which is directly responsible (medical proof exists!) for health problems.

    Apparently some people over here still don't understand that my 2007 Cayenne Turbo S is "cleaner" than a five year old VW Golf. The truth is: people who are serious about protecting the environment are doing something for it. The others are just bragging and trying to vent their frustration with their life towards owners of expensive cars. This is understandable but not every intelligent.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    Joost said:
    Wonderbar,
    I can not tell you about france, but I think the european way of reacting to beautiful (expensive) cars is very much jealousy, whereas americans tend to react with admiration. In the US, people really like it when someone makes big buck by working hard. In the netherlands, people are jealous, and often camouflage that with saying that a big car is bad for the environment. Be prepared for people being envious.



    Some countries more than others (more in northern countries), but that is exactly the european mentality, its pathetic. I live in an area of Spain were I can drive the 911 everyday and anywere, and never get bad looks or anything, sometimes even a compliment (which is an embarrasing situation at least I find it so if I don't know the person).
    But if you are in Madrid or Barcelona its the opposite, you have to be careful were you drive it, were you park it, and still you get hazzle due to jealousy. Its sad but thats the way it is in EU as opposed to US were you tend to get the oposite reaction.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    ...it's their way to demand PORSCHE in EU for EVERYONE...(equal opportunity to make money FOR EVERYONE smart and stupid individual)...

    ...SAD results of a f#kdup TAX policy of their country govs...


    ...in the US they respect the big money, BUT at the same time they expect you to PAY tips for that EVERYWHERE you go. If you dont tip, they vandalize your car in even MORE brutal way, than in the EU...


    OZRacing

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Put a "Hydrogen Test Vehicle. H2O Emissions" sticker across the back.

    Alternatively, get the following badge from Toyota and slap it on the tailgate. Either option humbles the tree huggers .


    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    get a plate that says "at least it is not a Range Rover"

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Same in Zürich. Big SUVs have a bad reputation here. My girlfriend uses our second car for her work commute and I didn't want her to get harassed because she drives a Cayenne (or RR Sport). This made me decide to buy a low profile BMW Touring. With the 911 I don't have any problems as long as you don't drive aggressively.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    I own and drive a Cayenne S here in Paris and I have to admit that people are not that friendly. At the end of the day, I believe it is worse than when I drove the 996....

    By the way, I never had any problem, but I NEVER park the car in the street overnight and if we go out we valet-park it.

    What peopme think is: Definitely when driving a Porsche sports car you have a show-off attitude and when you drive a Cayenne, you have a show-off attitude AND you don't care about the environment because you drive a gas guzzler ...

    On the other hand, when I drive my 30 years old Lancia people are demonstrating some sympathy whilst the car is certainly polluting 10x more than the Cayenne ....

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    How to say it polite...Europe sucks

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Thanks

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    cer300 said:
    How to say it polite...Europe sucks



    So does Toronto, but what the heck .

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    What is the underlying feeling for the resentment? Outright jealousy? Sense of fairness? In that I mean that some feel the wealthy make too much relative to the average. A feeling that is creeping into American culture somewhat given the rash of CEO crime and excesses that have come to light as a result. Or a sense of wastful behavior, or in other words, the green movement?

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    thuggy said:
    What is the underlying feeling for the resentment? Outright jealousy? Sense of fairness? In that I mean that some feel the wealthy make too much relative to the average. A feeling that is creeping into American culture somewhat given the rash of CEO crime and excesses that have come to light as a result. Or a sense of wastful behavior, or in other words, the green movement?



    I've been driving Porsches her in Europe for more years than I care to admit to but have never been conscious of public resentment of the brand, as long as I did not park the car on someone's foot.

    Even on the (admittedly rare) occasions I've driven more "exotic" cars like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston or Audi R8, I have been embarassed due to displays of admiration by people who wanted to take a closer look or ask questions about the car whenever I parked it, but never by displays of resentment.

    Am I insensitive?

    As if I'd care.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    but have never been conscious of public resentment of the brand



    I agree that there is no resentment of the brand (at least regarding the vast majoritiy of people - of course some id.ots exist everywhere).
    However it might be that some Green Talibans are showing an increasing "interest" in SUVs these days (no matter whether Porsche, MB or BMW)

    @ wonderbar: IMO there is no such thing as THE social environment in Europe. Just like easy_rider and others said, it depends where you stay. Stereotypes and generalizations don't help to paint a realistic picture.

    Actually if I would own a high-end SUV in Europe I would be more worried about thieves rather than Green fanatics: the East-European car-mafia just loves those SUV's....

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    The funny part is: when I'm driving the Cayenne or 997 Turbo somewhere outside my neighborhood, kids are yelling "Porsche", they smile and wave their hands. Parents usually laugh and I had a couple of people walking around my car(s) at a fuel station or a parking lot, paying me respect and telling me how beautiful they are (I usually get a red face ). It is completely different when you have to deal with people of your neighborhood and even worse: people who have the same financial possibilities. This may sound weird but if the husband of one of my wife's friends calls me a "Fuchsschwanz Racer" (Germans understand) just because I once fully accelerated in my 997 Turbo while having the kids in the rear (fun for them), there is nothing more to say.

    Well, with a beautiful wife and two kids, at least they can't say that I'm using my car(s) as a p.n.s enlargement tool.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Quote:
    RC said:
    The funny part is: when I'm driving the Cayenne or 997 Turbo somewhere outside my neighborhood, kids are yelling "Porsche", they smile and wave their hands. Parents usually laugh and I had a couple of people walking around my car(s) at a fuel station or a parking lot, paying me respect and telling me how beautiful they are (I usually get a red face ). It is completely different when you have to deal with people of your neighborhood and even worse: people who have the same financial possibilities. This may sound weird but if the husband of one of my wife's friends calls me a "Fuchsschwanz Racer" (Germans understand) just because I once fully accelerated in my 997 Turbo while having the kids in the rear (fun for them), there is nothing more to say.

    Well, with a beautiful wife and two kids, at least they can't say that I'm using my car(s) as a p.n.s enlargement tool.



    I see that Germans would make me feel right at home .

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Great tips and discussion, thanks. Since my original posting I have seen a few more Cayennes in Aix and surrounding areas, and many more Mercedes, big Audis, etc. I saw (but didn't have my camera) a beautiful black/chestnut CTT with sport tail pipes parked near a busy area in the old Aix city. The sport pipes looked terrific, IMHO, and I will order them. I will also get the badge delete option. I am feeling a lot more at ease now.

    I plan to lease another small Puegeot wagon for everyday use and for travel to crowded villages, etc. I will use the CTT for more special occasions where I know I can park safely and easily, and for longer trips to established hotels and vacation destinations.

    Anyone picked up their Cayenne in Leipzig? I would appreciate tips about your experience.

    Re: Public Resentment of Porsche in Europe?

    Interesting discussion/obsvns

    Would argue US is also fairly heterogenous in terms of reactions to new, expensive, high-perf cars/SUVs.....much geographic variation (even btwn NYC and SiliconValley and certainly RustBelt vs ex-CA SunBelt); socioeconomic variation based upon one's industry/specific part of even same urban region; reaction of anonymous people on road vs rxns of one's colleagues/competitors; relative youth of owner/driver vs observer, etc etc.....

    Would argue that, in US, even in lucrative industries w/highly educated and paid, relatively young professionals, much "country club bias" exists re: one's need to drive a vehicle that "fits in"....perhaps more sophisticated, but still jealous, colleagues may express their jealousies in more subtle ways, e.g., pay or other financial negotiations...

    Overheard some rather insightful car jealousy-related banter at a major NYC inv bank a yr or so ago...consumption culture of NYC inv banks varies significantly from that of hedge funds....even well-paid inv bankers tend to commute via smelly/sweaty taxis/trains to office and have a German car/SUV of some sort (not too new or >3yo or >$100K to drive to country club on summ wkends)....well, I was amused to hear a bunch of 35-40yo inv banking execs (mediocre, rank-and-file execs who prob earn $5-10MM/yr) expressing jealousy (amongst themselves) that a more senior 42yo exec at their firm (who earns $25MM+/yr) had just gotten a new $100K 997S Cab to drive on wkends to the golf club in Greenwich.....a humble wkend-only 997S was deemed too flashy/extravagant by this jaded group of observers....

    Even if I were stuck in a place w/a conservative consump culture w/strict speed enfcmt, would simply get the highest-perf, maximal active/passive safety car/SUV that I could afford (in silver/blk and debadged).....after all, time in any car/SUV, no matter how safely driven, is one of greatest sources of poss instantaneous physical risk/harm to which any affluent guy in US/EU is exposed .....would choose vehicle based upon those risk/reward considerations....rather than compromising safety to assuage petty human jealousies that will always exist (both openly and in hidden forms), even in many of the world's greatest/wealthiest capitalist epicenters.....and, if not cars, inherently jealous guys will always find other stuff to criticize/penalize....perhaps one's chicks/wife, house, watch, etc etc....

     
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