Porsche Sales Up, but Not on Sports Cars
For years, Porsche was known solely as a sports car manufacturer. That all changed when the Cayenne SUV hit the market in 2003. It quickly became the most popular model in the lineup.
Porsche’s sales were up 75% last month, and another new Porsche model is in the mix: the Panamera grand tourer, which starts at $74,400 for the base 300-horsepower V-6 model, which is the best-seller. That's followed by the Panamera 4, which is an all-wheel-drive version of the V-6, and then the Panamera 4S, which is the all-wheel-drive version of the V-8 S model. The top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo starts at $132,600. Nearly every Porsche sold has at least a few options — from special color-matching trim materials to beefier brakes — adding to the sticker price. Fully loaded units can retail for tens of thousands above the starting price.
When you see 807 Panameras sold in July and when Toyota sells nearly 35,000 Camry sedans, the German automaker’s numbers might seem paltry. But a Panamera sale rings up three to four times that of a Camry. And the profits can be even more than that.
Porsche’s July sales were its second-highest in two years, and the redesigned 2011 Cayenne is another reason for that. Porsche sold 910 Cayennes, which is much higher than last year’s 541, but it's behind the company’s best month when it moved 1,401 Cayennes in June of 2003. That’s because the redesigned 2011 Cayenne is still reaching dealer lots, and the full array of trim levels isn’t available at launch, with the base V-6 and hybrid models arriving in the fall. However, Porsche has moved most of the old models off the lots. Eight-hundred-twenty-eight Cayennes sold in July were 2011s. The new model starts at $46,700, with the S at $63,700 and the Turbo starting at $104,800.
When the new Cayenne and Panamera inventories are stocked, we expect sales to increase even more. But there’s still a looming question. When is Porsche going to address its slowly dwindling sales of the Cayman, Boxster and 911? You know, sports cars? Will the sports car aura stay strong when the company is moving significantly more sedans and SUVs? Boxster and Cayman sales combined were 392 units in July, up slightly from 2009, with the 911 selling 594, down slightly from 2009.
Today, the Panamera and Cayenne may be fueling Porsche’s charge, but we expect a new Boxster and Cayman to come along soon. The question is, will they or the 911 ever overtake Porsche's non-sports car siblings?