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A Concordia grad is in the driver’s seat at Porsche Cars Canada

As director of marketing, Kitty Luu is helping to navigate the future of driving
January 30, 2023
By Alexander Huls

Porsche is expanding its electric-vehicle offerings, including with its Taycan model (pictured), to help define what luxury driving in a renewable future will look like. | Photo: Porsche Cars Canada

When Thi-Ky “Kitty” Luu, BComm 02, was a teenager learning to drive, she was determined to master the art of the manual transmission. She dreamed of one day driving a sportscar — maybe a Porsche — and knew that an automatic transmission wouldn’t provide the same experience.

That foresight paid off: In October 2022, Luu was named Porsche Cars Canada’s director of marketing, where she is responsible for the automaker’s product planning, communications, events/partnerships and motorsports.

On challenging days, she likes to go for a drive. The thrill of the acceleration, feeling the tires hug the road and knowing that her teenage dream has come true, puts a smile on her face every time. “It makes me feel alive,” Luu says.

The new job does, too. Throughout her career in the automobile industry — working for Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Honda and Kia — she would sometimes try something different. There have been detours into pharmaceuticals and infrastructure, but they didn’t have the same thrill as the car industry.

“It just draws you back,” Luu says. “The excitement you get here is incomparable to other industries.” At Porsche she feels like she has reached a whole new professional pinnacle. “It’s basically the mothership,” she jokes.

In her role, Luu now looks to share her enthusiasm for Porsche with others as the car industry itself is seeing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing supply-chain issues have created a shortage of parts needed for manufacturing and repair.

There is also a global shortage of semiconductor chips — used in cars for everything from displays to seat warmers to power management. For a director of marketing, that poses a unique challenge: How do you advertise a product that a customer might not be able to obtain right away?

‘A completely new beast’

Kitty Luu has shoulder-length brown hair, wears black-framed glasses, and a navy blue blazer over a white shirt. She stands in front of a wall of framed photos of Porsche cars.

Luu credits some of the critical thinking skills she's developed to professors in Concordia’s marketing program and first-hand experience in the commercial world through the John Molson School of Business.

Lecturer Brent Pearce was especially a formative influence on Luu. He taught her to never accept the status quo or think in a singular way. When students shared experiences about being told “these are the rules” in business situations, Pearce would encourage them to change those rules.

“It led to deeper thinking to find the source of a problem and then try new things,” Luu recalls.

That thinking has directly informed some of her goals in her current role. Luu says she wants to turn a new, younger generation of drivers into Porsche die-hards with offerings such as Porsche Drive, the carmaker’s rental program, or curated sports-car-friendly travel with Porsche Experience. In effect, Luu is helping to cultivate Porsche drivers before they can actually drive their Porsche.

She has additionally been tasked to help Porsche transition to the next chapter. “The automotive industry is changing,” she says. “The electric vehicle is a completely new beast.”

As the company expands its EV offerings with its Taycan model, it creates the opportunity to define what luxury driving in a renewable future will look like, while assuring customers that the sports-driving experience associated with Porsche won’t be compromised.

Luu has also made it her goal to tackle whatever comes with her extensive industry experience and with the principles that have guided her to where she is today.

“I’ve managed to move up the corporate ladder, without losing integrity or playing the typical boys’ games,” she says. It’s not an easy feat.

“In the automotive industry, a female executive is not yet the norm. It’s even harder to find any female executive with a multicultural background,” says Luu, who is Chinese, born in Vietnam and raised in Montreal.

Where she once imagined a day she might drive a Porsche, Luu now looks ahead to a day — maybe 20 years from now — where she’ll reflect on her career and think, “I’ve done what I needed to do, and remained myself.”

Until then, while she enjoys the present moment, she says “Being at Porsche is beyond my wildest dreams.”


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