Aug. 8 - Porsche announces sales figures up 17 per cent on first half of last year, with the Cayenne the company’s most successful model and America its largest single market. So why is the German sports-car maker booming when some other European car makers are struggling? Edward Baran reports.
0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds -- just one of the attractions of a Porsche 911 Turbo. Sales of the luxury German cars are almost as impressive. First half numbers were up 17% compared to last year, largely down to a growing American market. Targeting non-Europeans is the key to their success says What Car editor John McIlroy SOUNDBITE, John McIlroy, Editor What Car?, saying: "They have got a very strong product portfolio that appeals across a wide variety of markets, so in America where sports cars and SUVs both have appeal, sales are up there by about a third. But also they have got models like the Cayenne SUV and the Panamera which appeal in China where buyers don't necessarily want a sports car but they identify strongly with the Porsche brand, they see it as a prestige name from Europe and they want to be a part of that." Last month almost 14,000 motorists around the globe took delivery of a new Porsche - that's 11% more than last July. A sixth of those were convertible Boxsters or 911 Carrera Cabriolets. But it was the Cayenne - an SUV - which proved to be the most successful model - selling more than 7,000 vehicles. JULIAN CHART... Over the past year Porsche has outpaced its German rivals on the stock market And further expanding the Porsche portfolio will be the challenge over the next decade. SOUNDBITE, John McIlroy, Editor What Car?, saying: "One of the trickiest things that Porsche have got to manage is how much they can stretch their brand. We have already seen the small cars like the Boxter and the Cayman doing well - can they go smaller than that, who knows? Also with the Macan, the new SUV that's coming along again, can they produce one that's smaller than that? It's about how much they can democratise the Porsche name without eroding the prestige of the brand." Porsche is set to unveil a number of new models towards the end of this year It seems a safe bet that they'll be designed with the brand's GLOBAL customers very firmly in mind.