Some 68 percent of those who do a driving experience in Atlanta are not Porsche owners. But about a quarter say they are likely to buy a Porsche afterward.

Three years after its grand opening, Porsche’s experiment co-locating its business headquarters for North America with a test track and “experience center” seems to be paying off. 

More than 150,000 visitors have passed through the doors of the Atlanta center, with the average monthly throughput doubling from 2,900 during the first year to 5,700 in 2018, the German sports car maker announced in late August. 

And the project isn’t an island unto itself: The gleaming $100 million headquarters complex near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has set off a raft of other development projects, like the Solis hotel next door. Porsche has been a central catalyst for the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance, a joint development initiative targeting the airport area. 

Though the building sits near the international terminal at the airport (and is visible from the sky), a spokesperson couldn’t pinpoint what proportion of Porsche’s visitors have arrived from other countries. 

What the auto maker does say, however, is that two-thirds of those who completed a driving experience in Atlanta are non-Porsche owners — a win for one of the center’s objectives: drawing new potential customers into the Porsche lifestyle, all while deepening the affections of existing owners. 

The track may be one draw, but the center is also home to a museum or “heritage gallery,” simulators, factory restoration center, conference rooms, a fine-dining restaurant and more. Atlanta is outpacing the number of visitors so far to Los Angeles, where Porsche has welcomed 100,000 visitors. A caveat: The LA center opened a year later.

Global Atlanta has been following the development of the center since before it took over the old Ford site in Hapeville. See our video from Silverstone, England, home to one of six experiences and the one that served as a model for Atlanta’s:

And here’s another from the grand opening at the finished product in Atlanta:

More from Porsche on the center:

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...