Macan” might mean “tiger” in Indonesian, but it appears some North American Porsche dealerships took the evocation a bit literally. Following concerns over a Tampa, Florida dealership’s use of live tiger cubs to promote the new Macan crossover’s launch, Porsche is telling its franchised dealers to nix all plans involving live animals.
“Porsche does not condone in any way the use of live animals for advertising,” Porsche product communications manager Nick Twork told Automotive News.
Both Porsche North America and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) got involved after news of a bizarre Macan launch promotion on May 2 reached Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue. Passersby who saw four three-week-old tiger cubs in a cage at Reeves Import Motorcars in Tampa notified Big Cat Rescue, a major wild cat sanctuary and advocacy organization.
The live tiger cubs were, according to sanctuary spokesperson Susan Bass, acquired from a roadside zoo called Dade City’s Wild Things. “Tiger cubs are supposed to be with their mothers, not at auto dealerships for people to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at,” she told Automobile. “Once we got in touch with Porsche, I was happy with how quickly they understood that.”
Porsche immediately advised all its dealers to abandon this kind of promotional strategy. Employees at Leith Porsche in North Carolina were also considering using tigers to promote the new crossover, but opted out after PETA convinced them otherwise. “When we spoke to PETA and found out about the transportation and poor treatment…it was not something we wanted to be a part of,” Leith Porsche general manager Jason Jones told Automotive News. In a phone conversation with Automobile, Jones stressed that now, “the car gets to be the star.”
Hopefully the outrage over animal advertising will be food for thought to any Jaguar dealers gearing up for the XE sport sedan.
Now on sale, the 2015 Porsche Macan S utilizes a 3.0-liter, 345-hp turbocharged V-6 and all-wheel drive, and starts at $50,895, including destination. The 400-hp Macan Turbo costs $73,295.