About an hour’s drive from either Amsterdam or Rotterdam in the Netherlands is Porsche Centrum Gelderland in the town of Heteren. While most Porsche dealers today are very well appointed and modern facilities, this is not your typical Porsche dealer.
Mark Wegh, who along with his wife, Charlotte, started the business in 2005. Wegh is a very calm, quiet yet direct, and focused as a businessman. He also has the largest collection of rare Porsche, VW and Audi cars in private hands.
We started with his large car collection. “My favorite is the 356 Speedster, completely unrestored… original. It has never been painted and has 20,000 miles.”
Wegh tells how his father was a workshop manager for a Volkswagen dealership. “I was born with a VW logo on my head,” he said. “The plan was that I should be a VW dealer. My whole career was built on that. But in the end I had the opportunity to be a Porsche dealer. So I started all this 14 years ago from zero and we are now one of the biggest world wide.”
Porsche Centrum Gelderland has an amazing range of 100 new and 150 used and vintage Porsches. Even the exclusive “latest and greatest” models like the Taycan can be found in a variety of trims and can be delivered quickly. The company also has proprietary offerings including leasing, insurance, transport, road-side assistance, and more.
“You can buy a Porsche in 835 places in the world,” Wegh sad. “Same car, same quality. In the end we must bring something to the car, passion, experience. The client says ‘I will buy the car there because I am part of the family’. We do 80 events a year around the car.”
One of the highlights is an International Collectors Day, much like the Los Angeles Porsche Toy and Literature show. More than 4,000 people show up for this event.
A recent expansion of the 35,000-square-foot facility is the addition of a third building on the campus – at nearly 80,000-square-foot and due to Open in October. Wegh is a very hands-on owner. Beyond his staff of more than 150 employees, his customers, who number in the thousands, all have his mobile phone number.
Merchandising is yet another facet of the business. “We (publish) a book of old 356 brochures given out by the factory between 1948 and 1964. It is more than 500 pages. Every brochure from the US, Germany… all over the world.
“We are now making a new book that will be every brochure for the Porsche 911 from 1964 to 1973.”
According to Porsche AG, “More than 70 per cent of the vehicles ever produced by Porsche are still running today. To ensure that these classic cars receive optimum support and overhaul facilities, Porsche is establishing an international dealer and service network and will be certified as Porsche Classic Partners. These services will include the supply of some 52,000 original spare parts, complete and partial overhauls but also repair and maintenance work and the sale of classic cars.”
Wegh’s location was the first, and in Europe, remains only one of three “Classic Centers.” The others are in Norway and France.
“We have 16 lifts dedicated to classic Porsche, beyond our retail service center,” Wegh said. “We do complete restoration. There are seven people doing just sheet metal. We have our own paint booth for the classic cars, because the paint is different than on the modern cars.
Wegh’s customers come from all over. “Obviously Holland is my primary, however I get customers from Germany, England, Belgium, all over.”
Clearly, Porsche Centrum Gelderland has long legs and certainly plans to build on its successes. “I like it and it is a lot of fun.” Wegh disclosed the secret of his success: “Never give a client a reason to go somewhere else.”