ATLANTA (AP) — Porsche Cars North America said Thursday it plans to consolidate several of its U.S. operations at a new $100 million complex being planned in the Atlanta area, where it already has headquarters.
The German luxury automaker said the complex, to be built near the new International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, will include a road course allowing potential customers to take luxury cars for a spin.
Other U.S. operations moving to Atlanta include Porsche Financial Services Inc. and Porsche Business Services Inc., both currently located in Lisle, Ill. A now-shuttered Ford Motor Co. plant sits there now.
Porsche says the complex will include office facilities for a workforce that will eventually number 400 employees, including a technical service and training center. The company has based its North American operations in nearby Sandy Springs for the last 13 years.
The sleek new headquarters will have a customer experience center that will feature a road course that could draw some 20,000 visitors a year. Groundbreaking is planned for this fall, with opening scheduled for the second half of 2013.
Company officials made the announcement at a state Capitol news conference with Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other elected officials.
Reed said Porsche's reputation for quality would send a signal to visitors.
"They're going to see Porsche and they're going to associate excellence with the city of Atlanta," Reed said.
The state sweetened the pot for Porsche. By law, the state provided $1.75 million in job tax credits, based on approximately 100 new jobs to be created. There were also discretionary incentives of roughly $800,000, including the road and signage changes the state Department of Transportation will provide.
Delve von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, said the company explored 17 different locations before settling on Atlanta.
"We had very, very aggressive, attractive offers from other states," he said.
The company says other Porsche businesses also will be included in the consolidation.