Porsche's success drives expansion and new models

By Christoph Rauwald

The Porsche 918 Spyder
The Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche says it will reach a target of selling more than 200,000 vehicles a year in 2015 or 2016, about three years earlier than initially planned.

Investments in expanding and modernising factories in the region around its Stuttgart, Germany, hometown will exceed €1 billion by 2018, and the manufacturer plans to decide on a new model line next year, chief executive officer Matthias Mueller said.

Porsche accounted for €1.29 billion ($2.13 billion) of group first-half operating profit of €5.78 billion, the third-largest earnings contributor after the Audi premium unit and the mass-market VW car nameplate.

Europe's debt crisis is far from over, and "the political and economical framework conditions worldwide bear significant uncertainties," Mueller said.

Porsche, which ranks first at Volkswagen in terms of profit per vehicle, plans to expand its sales network 33 per cent by 2018 as demand for upscale vehicles jumps in emerging markets such as China and the division adds models.

The carmaker, which also builds the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle, is investing €200 million a year to increase the number of dealerships to 1000 outlets in five years from about 750 in early 2013.

The division is adding to its line-up after Volkswagen integrated Porsche as a business just over a year ago.

Porsche will be showing the 918 Spyder, a limited-run hybrid supercar that will be its most expensive model ever, at the Frankfurt car show.

The expansion is part of a push by Porsche to boost annual sales as Volkswagen targets becoming the world's biggest carmaker by 2018. Porsche handed over a record 143,096 vehicles to customers in 2012, an increase of 22 per cent.

The 918 Spyder is scheduled to go on sale later this year, joining a line-up that includes revamped versions of the Boxster roadster and Cayman sports car.

- NZ Herald

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