LXRY Q&A: Marc Ouayoun, President & CEO of Porsche Cars Canada
What does it take to run the Canadian arm of one of the top and most desirable car companies in the world?
I had the pleasure of not only meeting Marc Ouayoun, but interviewing him to get to know a more holistic perspective of what he does. In this concise interview, you will learn more about Marc, what he does for Porsche, his love of cars, his personal goals and how he spends his time in quarantine.
Enter Marc Ouayoun of Porsche Canada
LXRY: Describe who you are and what you do at Porsche Canada.
MARC: As the President & CEO of Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. I oversee the operations of the importer for the Canadian market.
LXRY: Let’s go back to the beginning. What was your first memory of seeing or experiencing a Porsche?
MARC: My first memory of Porsche was at the Autoshow in Paris in 1986…and I remember admiring the latest cars on the stand and asking what I could do to work for such an incredible brand.
LXRY: Where does your love of cars come from?
MARC: It is a passion I have had since I was a child. I wanted to work in the automotive industry, and my dream brand was…Porsche. For me, a car has always been a combination of emotion, engineering, performance, freedom, and passion. Of course, in my job today there are many more dimensions that are just as exciting, such as, mobility of the future, electrification, as well as digitalization, and connectivity.
LXRY: How important is it to you seeing Porsche driving towards sustainability, hybrid, and electric car technology?
MARC: Sustainability is at the core of Porsche’s long-term strategy. We have committed to having more than 50% of our model offerings electrified by 2025 and 80% by 2030. Hybrid technology is not new to our brand and you will continue to see BEV and PHEV models introduced in the coming years. Moreover, we are currently in the development and testing of carbon-neutral eFuels which we will be incorporated in our Motorsports activities and existing internal combustion engines. Knowing that more than 70% of all Porsches ever built remain on the road today, it is important for us to support environmentally friendly initiatives.
LXRY: In your opinion, what makes an exciting electric sports car experience? Do you think that’s been achieved in cars like the Taycan or it’s something that needs more time to develop?
MARC: When it comes to our overall strategy, the customer is always at the core of our focus. Knowing that consumer behaviours are constantly evolving, technology and connectivity should be seamlessly integrated. An example is Apple Music which offers Taycan owners a unique driving and user experience. Other examples can be seen with over-the-air updates and functions-on-demand which allows for customers to be in the driver’s seat in more ways than one. But the most important for me is that if Porsche creates an electric car, it should first be a Porsche. And have a soul. This is exactly the definition of the Taycan.
LXRY: What’s something that you think should be highlighted more about Porsche?
MARC: Porsche is more than just a car manufacturer. We are a brand associated with many faces, and I think that one particular motto summarizes them all: the Brand for those who follow their dreams. We are not only selling cars, we offer experiences as legendary as the cars we build. For example, we offer multiple solutions for mobility including Porsche Drive: a subscription and rental service now available in Toronto and Vancouver. This allows for customers and new adopters to the brand to experience multiple Porsche vehicles on any given month.
LXRY: How do you balance heritage for existing customers and brand loyalty for new customers?
MARC: We do not believe that these are mutually exclusive. The 356 and the iconic 911 are important pillars in the history of the brand, as is Motorsports and our racing heritage. We feel that these elements appeal to current and current customers. At the same time, our customer base is diverse and will be even more in the future with the electrification of our product portfolio
LXRY: What’s something you personally want to achieve this year?
MARC: The pandemic creates a special momentum for managers. For me, it was about being agile, fast in decision making, and ultimately “caring” for our people, customers, dealer staff, and Porsche Canada employees. And ultimately about delivering the best possible performance in a disrupted time. We achieved that in 2020 and my goal is to work the same way in 2021. We just had our best ever quarter in Canada, which shows that we have the right approach and that our brand is more attractive than ever for the ones who follow their dreams.
LXRY: What does an ideal day look like for you?
MARC: A full day… that starts ideally with a quick scan of the news and emails, a 60-min. hike, and then interactions with my team on all projects and activities we are following up based on a clear roadmap. All virtually of course, but I miss the direct interactions a lot.
LXRY: Do you have any tips on how to best spend your quarantine time?
MARC: I personally need to change my scenery, even while staying at home. So I decided to build model kits, Porsche Models of course. The latest is the Le Mans 1971 Winner, the Porsche 917.
LXRY: What’s a lesson that you learned at Porsche or over your career that has helped you with your success?
MARC: Always question the status quo, be a telescope AND a microscope at the same time for the long-term vision and the sense of detail, leave your comfort zone, and don’t forget: courage is everything!
LXRY: What comes to mind when you think of a ‘Canadian luxury’?
MARC: The ability to personalize and customize a bespoke vehicle through programs such as Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. A luxury that is genuine, sustainable, and made with the best material.
The Bottom Line
Thank you to Marc Ouayoun for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our burning questions.
We look forward to the coming opportunities to test drive more of the new Porsche line-up.
Read More LXRY Interviews Here:
- LXRY Q&A: Jessica Stepanova, Fashion Model
- LXRY Q&A: Som Seif, President and CEO of Purpose Investments
- LXRY Q&A: Michel Regembal, Architect for Iberostar’s Grand Packard Hotel