Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, believes his company’s new headquarters will be as much of a tourist attraction as it will be offices for 400 employees.
“One of the many reasons why we decided to stay in Atlanta is that the city, with the world’s largest airport, is within two hours of 80 percent of the U.S. population,” he said, speaking to the Atlanta Press Club. “A person can fly in from New York, take a test drive on our track and be home that same day. We already are getting interest and phone calls from companies in Germany who want to know more about Atlanta because of our headquarters.”
The $100 million, 27.7-acre complex, which will open this December, will house the U.S. corporate offices, Porsche Experience Center with a test track, Porsche Technical Training Center and a fine dining restaurant. Porsche is the first company to break ground at the 130-acre Aerotropolis Atlanta development site located in the former Ford factory next to I-75. Mr. Von Platen envisions the building’s sleek atrium being used for corporate events in addition to Porsche’s events. “I would love to have the Atlanta Symphony play here,” he said.
It is the test track that Mr. von Platen believes will attract Porsche and car lovers worldwide. The track which has five modules, such as a low friction circle, handling circuit and kick-plate, starts outside and then goes through the building and then comes out the other side. At one point there is a 17-degree hill. “When you get to the top of the hill and look up, all you will see is the blue sky and airplanes flying above you,” he said.
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