Where two-wheeled helpers help showcase four-wheeled beauties in all their glory
The Porsche Centre in Zurich is one of the top locations for the ultimate Porsche experience. It goes without saying, then, that in such a temple, the workshop is not only a workroom but also a business card for the brand. But how do luxury cars and cleaning machines share the same space risk-free?
“One day, I’ll drive a Porsche” – it’s the childhood dream of many young men. At the Porsche Centre in Zurich, it can come true. Premium models such as the Carrera and the Cayenne greet visitors at the entrance and raise their anticipation for the Porsche experience they are about to be immersed in. Inside the building, gleaming luxury cars that make the heart beat faster, glamorous events and even a cigar lounge await the visitors. At Porsche, customers are used to getting that little extra: enthusiasm, a friendly welcome, dedicated service – and not least, cleanliness. Porsche presents its luxury models in an immaculately clean environment with an inviting atmosphere. And not just in the showrooms, but also in the workshop. That’s because to Porsche, the workshops are not just a service area – they are a luxury hotel for its exclusive vehicles.
The majority of dirt is liquid
“Our customers should always feel at home in our workshop,” explains Patrick Reichlin, After Sales Manager at the Porsche Centre Zurich. Prospective customers can access the workshop at any time. It has two work rooms distributed across two floors. Keeping them clean at all times is a demanding task – and requires workshop personnel to be highly flexible. Due to the many liquids that are handled in the workshop, floor cleaning plays a crucial role. Snow from car roofs, mud carried in on the tyres, and coolant – the types of soiling are many. “Sometimes the engine needs to be quickly removed to reach another component for repair or restoration – then getting engine oil and brake dust on the floor is simply unavoidable,” says Patrick Reichlin.
In-house cleaning improves (work) safety
In the workshop, a team of 17 automotive specialists, mechatronics engineers and diagnosticians take care of the exclusive cars. In the past, the floor was cleaned by an external cleaning service provider. But that changed two years ago – cleaning only once at the end of the day was simply not enough. “We need to be flexible in our cleaning and clean whenever needed – every few hours if necessary. If there is engine oil on the floor, the workshop is neither safe for our mechanics, nor for our customers. Hazards like these need to be dealt with immediately,” says Patrick Reichlin, explaining the reasons behind the change. As a result, the dealership switched from external to in-house cleaning and purchased two floor cleaning machines. The workshop team is now responsible for keeping the workshop clean. It goes without saying that a seller of exclusive sports cars also needs premium cleaning machines. That’s where Swiss company Wetrok comes in.
Porsches and cleaning machines never come into contact with one another
When you see the two Wetrok Intense scrubber-dryer machines, the first thing you might notice is the flawless condition they are kept in. The reason is obvious: “Our mechanics work in close contact with the most expensive Porsches in the world on a daily basis – so it follows that they treat the workplace with the same care,” explains Patrick Reichlin. The floor discs are cleaned multiple times a day as required (spot cleaning) and thoroughly cleaned again in the evening almost daily (maintenance cleaning). To prevent the scrubber-dryer from coming into contact with the valuable Porsches, the cars are lifted clear off the floor with a lifting platform. Safety comes first – for customers, employees and vehicles.
Risk of slipping the biggest challenge when it comes to cleaning
The Wetrok Intense provides the workshop team with optimum support while cleaning: “It’s extremely agile and even cleans effectively along walls or in tight corners. It has extremely high suction power and, thanks to the integrated dosage system, we never use too much cleaning product,” explains Patrick Reichlin delightedly. The patented Power Whirl suction nozzle technology is also ideal for a workshop: the Power Whirl suction bar dries the floor instantly to eliminate any moisture and the risk of slipping. The cleaning machine is so flexible that it can even be adjusted to the degree of soiling: For daily cleaning in the evening, workshop staff select the energy-saving Eco mode, while the rapid removal of heavy soiling during the day calls for Power Shot mode. And there is yet another approach for different degrees of soiling that has proved itself effective: Since the ground floor of the workshop is more heavily frequented and more dirt is trekked in from outside, green pads are used for cleaning with the scrubber-dryer. These have a slightly stronger scouring effect than the scrubbing brushes used on the upper floor. Car enthusiast Patrick Reichlin sums up his experiences with the Wetrok Intense perfectly: “The Wetrok cleaning machine is as reliable and flexible as a Porsche.”
An unexpected accolade for the Wetrok cleaning machine
In March 2020, Porsche launched its first electric model in Switzerland: the Porsche Taycan. And there is one clever feature that the electric car has in common with Wetrok scrubber-dryers: both run on lithium-ion batteries – the most advanced and durable type of lithium battery. The Wetrok Intense received a very special accolade from the mechanics team: thoroughly impressed by the two-wheeled helper, they spontaneously decided to decorate it with a Porsche logo. By doing so, they have shown what the Intense cleaning machine is to them: the Porsche of the cleaning world.
Interview with Patrick Reichlin, After Sales Manager at the Porsche Centre in Zurich
“Everyone helps with the cleaning – from the trainees to the boss”
Which models and colours do you sell the most of?
Swiss customers love timeless elegance. That’s why the most popular models are classics like the Cayenne or the Macan. Their colour preference is classic too: black is the most popular colour.
Are most purchases planned or do you ever get impulse purchases?
Usually, purchases are planned – our customers are mostly successful businesspeople who know what they want. But there was one occasion when a customer came in just before closing time on Christmas Eve, wanting to buy a Porsche as a last-minute gift for his wife.
Are there any similarities in the criteria relevant when buying a sports car and buying a cleaning machine?
There are indeed (laughs). It may seem surprising, but there are two: practicality and flexibility. The Porsche exudes a dynamic mix of sportiness, technical innovation and design. But at the end of the day, customers want a sports car that’s practical and supports their flexible lifestyle. It has to be as brilliant on the racetrack as it is in the mountains on their skiing holidays. The Porsche is the right choice for both situations. The same applies for cleaning machines: in order to be practical, they need to be compact and fit inside an elevator. And in order to be flexible, they need to manoeuvre skilfully along walls and in obstructed spaces. The Intense well and truly fulfils this requirement.
What’s the secret to the high level of hygiene in your workshop?
Our basic principle is simple: everyone helps with the cleaning – from the trainees to the boss. If you make a mess, you clean it up Immediately – as customers could enter the workshop at any time. What’s more, our mechatronics engineers are highly qualified and had no qualms about working with the cleaning machine from the very beginning. They know every trick in the book – and with such highly qualified personnel, user error is practically impossible.