Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Representative Agreement with Porsche AG

On the evening that Philip Kaes was due to arrive we all went to the airport together, Sheikh Khalid and I in his Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and Sheikh Rashid and Bob following up the rear in a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9.
Because Khalid and Rashid were the Interior Minister’s brothers, we went through customs and immigration to meet Philip Kaes at the door of the airplane. We then took him through immigration as a VIP jumping all the queues. Once he had collected his baggage we went out to the cars, which were parked in the no waiting area, and departed for the Holiday Inn in Manama, where Philip had made his own reservation.
The Holiday Inn in Bahrain was one of the best in the world; being the only five star facilities they had at that time. When arrived, we all got out of the cars outside the Holiday Inn; Philip Kaes turned around and said, “I have just seen something inside fifteen minutes that I have never seen in Stuttgart in one day in all the time I have worked there.” I asked him what was that and he said, “Two 450SEL 6.9 Mercedes, the one we had with us and another on the highway from the airport.” Khalid informed him that there were 120 such models in Bahrain and Philip Kaes immediately questioned this, but Khalid knew he was right, as his extended Al Khalifa family, which numbered several thousands, owned them all!
We got Philip Kaes settled in and all met for a drink in the bar followed by dinner to kick off discussions. 
The next day Bob and I met Philip on our own and took him to see “Our workshop” in Sitra, which was just a big modern shed with a few cars under repair and a few tools lying around. This place had neither electricity nor water and I think Philip made some comment like, “It has potential.”
We also took Philip around all the main car importers and dealers and he could not believe how poor most of the facilities were, especially BMW and Mercedes. That evening we all met for dinner in the Holiday Inn and some way into the meal Philip said to us whilst he was looking out of the window across the sea view, “What were you both trying to pull with your so called workshop stunt?” I confessed it was a warehouse borrowed for his visit and he said, “That is fine, but please not kid him on ever again if we were going to be working together.” Greatly encouraged we finished our meal and then Philip told us that he was going to give us a Representative Agreement with Porsche, which would allow us to import a few cars. We were absolutely delighted to hear this and we told him we would not let him down.
Philip had told us that John Aldington had put in a good word for us on the service side and that so long as we agreed to invest in a decent workshop with minimum 3 Star Porsche special tools and spare parts he would back us. We agreed to this and set about raising the money for the initial purchase from the Porsche factory.
The last thing he said to us when departing Bahrain was that he did not want to hear of us selling a single Porsche and the customer complaining to Porsche AG that we could not support them! It was most important for Philip and Porsche AG that we were able to support our customers and provide excellent after sales service, something we were already doing for existing clients.
He duly returned to Ludwigsburg and we had our Representative Agreement a week later, in the name of Performance Cars Bahrain (PCB), which was signed and returned immediately.
We were now in business as official Porsche Representatives for the State of Bahrain!  

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