In August 2011, the car maker Porsche had opened a showroom in Victoria Island, Lagos. It appears that less than a year and a half later, business is booming for the luxury car manufacturer.
We present you a video tour of the facilities and an interview with the General Manager at Porsche Center, Lagos Mr. Julian Hardy.
According to Mr. Hardy, the most expensive car in the showroom sells for about N36 million ($230,000), and most cars are sold for between N20-N30 million on average.
When one remembers the economic realities that most Nigerians are facing, one has to wonder, who is buying these cars?
Mr. Hardy is well aware of the stark income disparities between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. He says: "It’s always difficult being represented in a country like Nigeria with these sorts of cars – there clearly is a market for these cars, but we’re very aware of the dichotomy between the rich and the poor in the country."
Obviously, only the super elite can afford them. The same ones who have made Nigeria one of the fastest growing markets in the world for private jets.
In the interview, Hardy sheds some light on the profile of a typical customer. For instance, one white Cayenne in the foyer had reportedly been ordered and personalised for a woman – "she chose white because all her clothes are white – she’s actually a queen".
Such consumerism, you must be thinking. Nothing explicitly wrong with buying a Porsche or aspiring to own one for that matter. However, it would be nice if the Nigerian government provided better opportunity for wealth creation for the vast majority of Nigerians.
When asked about the professions of majority of his customers, Hardy replied, "A lot of oil and gas people, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people who have made their money in business maybe abroad and have come back to Nigeria."
Watch the video below and share your thoughts in the comment section.