Porsche owners expect a customer experience as good as their car. The relationship starts in the showroom, but once the keys change hands, a main component moves behind the scenes to the stage of the service bay. Here, expertly trained technicians work to help ensure that the vehicle lives up to the promise of its crest.
There are more than 1,100 Porsche technicians in 191 dealerships across the country. More than one-third are graduates from the Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program (PTAP), which celebrated its 20th anniversary on August 9. These men and women represent the elite in their field and that begs the question: What does it take to become a Porsche technician?
The majority of PTAP aspirants have already completed the Automotive Technology curriculum from the Universal Technical Institute, and only the best candidates are considered. Following a selection process with a psychological assessment, a mechanical knowledge test and a personal interview, the 12 top applicants are accepted into the 23-week program consisting of 16 core and 38 web-based courses. Traditional hands-on skills, like engine or brake servicing, are taught alongside modern hi-tech components such as electrical systems repair.
Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc. (PCNA), said, “Our sports cars speak for themselves and so does our customer experience. The Porsche Technology Apprenticeship Program is a key element that will help us stay on top and raise the bar even further.”
PCNA and its dealerships invest in technician training in parallel to the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s model line-up expanding from charismatic combustion engines to include powerful hybrids, and soon the fully electric Taycan, and the required skill set for technicians has grown accordingly. In an industry that is experiencing higher employee turnover, the purpose of PTAP is to create a foundation of brand commitment and knowledge that will help serve customers for years to come.
Students are taught by instructors who also are Porsche Master Level Technicians, and a typical day in PTAP begins at 7 a.m. in one of three different locations: Easton, Pennsylvania; Eastvale, California; and the PCNA headquarters in Atlanta. Even though the class workshop emulates that of an immaculate dealership, a mandatory component is an extracurricular automotive job.
Demand for automotive technicians is growing faster than the supply. The U.S. Department of Labor projects almost 46,000 new jobs in the sector by 2026. Upon graduation, all PTAP students – 72 annually – start working at Porsche dealerships where they can advance through bronze, silver and gold certification. Many PTAP alumni also have moved into instructor, technical support and manager positions with PCNA. The next class, number 62, will graduate in Atlanta on Aug. 16.
Porsche recently claimed the No. 1 spot in the 2019 J.D. Power Customer Service Index.
Learn more about PTAP at: