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    Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    We've known about E2A/E2B for some time now, but here's more info today...
    4-Seater Porsche...

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Thanks for the post

    FRANKFURT, Dec 2 (Reuters) - German sports car maker Porsche <PSHG_p.DE> is close to building a new four-seater coupe or sports sedan to jump start its profits as its business begins to stall after nine record years, industry experts said on Tuesday.

    The world's most profitable car maker, which built its reputation on race-winning sports cars, branched out into a new niche a year ago with a two-tonne sports utility vehicle (SUV), the Cayenne, a strategy which helped maintain growth as demand for its traditional 911 and Boxster cars waned.

    But as its sports car sales continue to slide and the initial impact of the Cayenne subsides, the company has said profits could be flat this year, disappointing investors who were hoping for a 10th straight record year.

    "There is a good chance that a fourth model announcement could encourage the idea that Porsche is once again a growth story," Goldman Sachs analysts said in a recent note.

    We believe Porsche's fourth model plans are already advanced, with the car's development underway, suppliers closely involved and, according to our sources, prototypes now testing on private tracks.

    The maker of some of the world's most desirable cars has long been expected to decide on a fourth model, but has left enthusiasts salivating for more detail.

    Porsche, which will be grilled on its plans at its annual press conference in Stuttgart on Wednesday, is now expected to make a decision early next year, with the car not expected to hit the market until 2006 or 2007 .

    Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking has merely hinted that the vehicle could take Porsche into a new niche and attack rivals where they don't expect it, telling a German newspaper recently: "We'll have even fewer friends in the car industry.


    Speculation has been rife about what the model could be -- ranging from a baby SUV to a luxury executive saloon -- but the clear favourite is a four-seat sports coupe or sedan.

    The new model is likely to use parts from the Cayenne, developed with Europe's biggest car maker Volkswagen <VOWG.DE>, and could be based either on an entirely new platform or on another base shared with VW, experts say.

    "As an engineering base it's a toss up between two options," said Mark Fulthorpe of industry research group CSM Worldwide.

    "One could be the current base that they share with VW for the Cayenne. The other is to get a similar agreement with VW to utilise the platform which VW will use for vehicles like the Audi A8 and the Phaeton."

    Such a move could also benefit VW, allowing it to get more volume from a luxury car platform which has proved costly.

    VW company expects to take a hit of several hundred million euros to write off some of the capitalised research and development costs this year, suggesting hundreds of million euros of investment will never generate a return.

    VW has said it is working on a platform for a new mid-sized luxury model which industry experts say could also be used by Italian sportscar maker Maserati, and form an ideal base for Porsche's new car. VW declined to comment.

    But other analysts said that Porsche, which made 933 million euros ($1.12 billion) before tax in its last business year to the end of July, has enough cash to develop a new platform on its own and note its high levels of capital expenditure this year.

    "We still cannot figure out how Porsche spent 500 million euros in 02/03 unless it is ramping up engine capacity to allow supply for the fourth model, paying for supplier tooling and investing in stamping tooling for a new platform," Goldman said.

    Industry experts also question the logic of rivals helping Porsche develop a car which will ultimately attack them on what they might long have thought of as safe territory.

    "Porsche has historically relied on the generosity of the German industry, like developing the Cayenne with VW. If they're going to take the industry on in such a lucrative sector why would anyone help them out," one industry watcher said.

    Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    If you remember, I had said a while ago that Porsche would make a huge announcement that no one will expect. well this is it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Not quite. This is just reconfirmation of what WW had already said publicly. Now the question remains, when we will we know what it really is?

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Soon. Very soon.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Soon. Very soon.

    I always enjoy your enthusiasm but I cannot agree (yet ).
    I'm pretty sure the 4th model is a sports sedan, this would perfectly make sense and this is also the latest rumor I heard regarding the 4th model. A GT wouldn't make sense, it would only hurt 911 sales.
    Right now the rumors indicate that the upcoming 4th Porsche model will be based on Audi's space frame technology to keep the weight low. Engines are rumored to be based on the current Cayenne engines, the top model is rumored to have 500 HP at maximum 1800 kg weight.

    Let them suprise us.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    I'm not quite sure a GT would hurt 911 sales.

    A front engine 2+2 GT would compete against the Mercedes SL, the BMW 6 series, ..... and would be targetting more the US market and an older audience.

    Making a sports sedan would be costly and wouldn't make financial sense. BMW is making over 60,000 7 series every year and Mercedes is making even more S class while Porsche would only make 20,000-25,000 units making it very difficult to amortize development costs.

    Why would Audi cooperate with Porsche and introduce a new competitor for its A8....

    If you really want a sporty sedan you can go for a 7 series Alpina B7 or Hartge... so Porsche would get into a crowed segment....

    I'm may be wrong. We'll see...

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    I have a feeling that Porsche 4-door will be competing with E55 AMG, M5, and RS6 not lemou. segment such as S class, 7-Series or A8.

    For Porsche to build a 2+2 GT would be the same as having a front engine 911. No adult fits in the back of 911 and no adult will fit in the back of 2+2 GT. Plus if Porsche decides to build a 2+2 GT, which they most likely won't, their competition would be 612 Scagletti, AM Vanquish, and such which defeats the purpose of Porsche being prfitable.

    If they announce a 2+2 GT then they'll narrow down the audience to just elite customers that can afford a 200,000k + cars and I don't believe this is Porsche's intention.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...


    I'm not quite sure a GT would hurt 911 sales.

    Why would Audi cooperate with Porsche and introduce a new competitor for its A8....

    If you really want a sporty sedan you can go for a 7 series Alpina B7 or Hartge... so Porsche would get into a crowed segment....

    I'm may be wrong. We'll see...

    Maybe I am wrong.
    A GT would surely hurt 911 sales because the 911 is already a 2+2 seater. I my eyes it really doesn't make sense to build a GT because the 911 covers the whole production line.
    Of course there are some people who want a V8 luxury sports GT but I'm not sure it would really sell that well.
    A sports sedan/limousine is a different story. A lot of people need room for the family but don't want a Cayenne. Sports sedans like the E55, M5, RS6, etc. sell very very well and Porsche would be really stupid not to want to join this market.
    I don't think a sports sedan with Audi's space frame technology would hurt Audi sales, on the contrary. The A8 is not a sports sedan, it is a luxury comfort oriented limousine like the 7series or the S-class. The Porsche sedan would hurt Audi RS6 and maybe RS4 sales but considering the much higher price tag of a possible Porsche sports limousine, I really don't think so. The Turbo version of the Porsche sedan would be priced in the Cayenne Turbo range or even little higher and the V8 in the slightly above Cayenne S range. Now you do the math.

    If Porsche really decides to build the rumored GT (development already started a while ago), it would be a mistake on a long run. Especially if the want to sell it in the higher price range above the 996 Turbo.
    Another thing: if Porsche builds a sports sedan, they can also build a sports coupe from it. Just a hint.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    I agree, IMO the sedan is more probable for a 4th model than a GT-tourer:

    - For one the GT will compete somewhat with Porsche's own 911 IMO, since while for us a front engine V8 4-seater GT-tourer is a totally different vehicle than say a 996TT, the general population doesn't have things so clearly in terms of what they want and may consider a 996TT, a Porsche GT-tourer, an M5 and an SL55 all in the same group of options for purchase, and are oblivious to their big differences. We see everyday people who buy a GT3 and to sell it only a month after because its to "rough", or complaining about so and so about their new 996TT and then switch to an SL55 and praise it because its what suited them better all along, AFTER buying the 996TT. Many are clueless about what car suits them best and about what they are buying, afterall, they all have similar horsepower numbers don't they? so although a 996TT and a "new 928" may be quite different to us, out there they will compete with each other on sales.

    - Another reason is that the sedan market is a much larger and versatile market than the exclusive high-end GT-tourer market of the F575M/F456M GT, future F612S, Vanquish, Bentley Coupe, upcoming Audi Lemans, etc. So the sedan may not only report greater number of sales but its also at less risky niche.

    - And lastly, a sedan would be much easier AND CHEAPER/profitable to develop/design/make than a GT-tourer since in the case of the sedan, Porsche can borrow/colaborate with other makers of sedans for part-sharing such as Audi/VW for chasis, engine variations, trannys, etc. We have just see an example with the Cayenne. While the GT-tourer would have to be completely designed by Porsche from scratch since its a more special/particular vehicle class and crossover featurtes is harder since its a very diverse/diffrent class b/t makers with little in common b/w makers.

    If they value other things besides purely economical factors, like brand image and reputation, and proud customer base then we may get GT-tourer afterall. But then again if that were true we wouldn't have a VW V6 Cayenne and Porsche would be kicking butt with an official racing program.

    Just my 2 cents of an Euro

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...


    Most of the rumours we've heard so far concerning the 4th model suggest either a 4-door-sedan or a 2+2-seater-GT. It seems that a GT would reach to small production numbers and nobody can tell how Porsche-fans or customers would react on a Porsche-sedan, furthermore the market for sporty sedans is rather full (M5, RS6, E55, at least in the USA also the Cadillac CTSv and later the CTSr, maybe even the Quattroporte would be a hard competitor). So why don't do it like Mercedes-benz and take something from both worlds by building a 4-door-coupé?
    It's just a thought of mine and I have nothing that would confirm this theory, but it would make sense, wouldn't it? I mean this market of a luxury 4-door-coupé would a have only one competitor if it would come on the market in 2006/07, the Mercedes CLS. Nobody could say that this one is only a conservative sedan, although it would also reach potential sedan-customers, but I think that it would also reach a classical GT-customer. But there's one thing I can't tell you: How large the market for a car like this (let's assume it would be in the price range somewhere between the Cayenne S and the Turbo, powered by the Cayenne S' V8-engine), but I think it can't be that small, because the CLS had very postive reactions in Frankfurt.

    As I already said, it's just a thought of mine and I have nothing to confirm it. But in my oppinion it would make sense. What do you guys think?


    P.S.: In the actual issue of Autocar there's a report about Porsche's 4th-model-range. Maybe someone of our British readers could tell us, what their informations are?

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    Porsche is already working on the 4th model even if they say, they haven't make up their mind yet.

    Last fiscal year (02/03), they have spent around 590m euros in investments (capex) mainly because of the Cayenne and this year they will spend around 500m euros which sounds a lot for the 997 (mainly) and a bit for the Boxster (987). They have to spend some cash to built the new engine factory which will have an annual capacity in excess of 100,000 units ..... there we are .... they need the 4th model to break the 100,000 units mark ...

    So I believe within the 500m euros budgeted for this year, some is dedicated to the 4th model.
    By the way, R&D budget will stay in line with last year's budget .... 500m euros i.e. a very high level for a firm of this size ... it is therefore quite clear the 4th model is on its way...

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    So why don't do it like Mercedes-benz and take something from both worlds by building a 4-door-coupé?
    .... because the CLS had very postive reactions in Frankfurt.

    I think you are making very good sense. The key to this is the 4-Seat part of the argument. Four real seats, not a 2+2. In my view it must have four doors to be an effective cross-over vehicle that captures the spirit of a GT car, but has the interior room for four adult passengers with elegant access to the rear seats. Expensive cars with seating for four with only doors for two are a tiresome throw-back to a by-gone era. Who would want to invite another couple to go out on the town, all dressed up, and have to force the guests to navigate being stuffed into the back seat? The Mercedes CLS shows the way here, and I believe it will prove to be very successful.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    I thought the fourth model according to Wiedeking, was in the lower range. Somthing to compete agains the Audi TT, Nissan Z etc...

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    In Antwort auf:
    I thought the fourth model according to Wiedeking, was in the lower range. Somthing to compete agains the Audi TT, Nissan Z etc...

    Why do you think that? I think you`re refering to Wiedeking's statement that "Porsche will have fewer friends than before" when they introduce they new model range, don't you? I think that this simply means that this model will reach high production numbers, but I'm not quite sure how you could define "high production numbers" in this context. The Cayenne, if I'm not mistaking, reaches 25.000 units a year so far and they could produce more if they could (But I'm not sure about this, maybe someone of you knows the exact numbers). So the maximum numbers must (or least they should) be higher than that of the Cayenne...35.000? Or even more? Seems a lot...
    But I hope I'm wrong.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    No No bhm,
    I actually read it somewhere, Wiedeking said himself that the fourth COULD be a lower range one (MX5, Audi TT like maybe, don't know)
    I think GM Austin has the article somewhere. Gary?
    Just received Autocar and their artist's impression is that of a CLS kinda car, I like it.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    No No bhm,
    I actually read it somewhere, Wiedeking said himself that the fourth COULD be a lower range one (MX5, Audi TT like maybe, don't know)
    I think GM Austin has the article somewhere. Gary?
    Just received Autocar and their artist's impression is that of a CLS kinda car, I like it.

    I believe this is what Fanch is reffereing to:

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    I also think EricAlain makes a good case. I have seen it made elsewhere as well. The development money is there and is being used for something. This is the first I have heard of the V8 production capacity, if I understood this correctly.

    I think Fanch's remark refers to an earlier Wiedeking statement which did refer to a lower priced 4th model. I didn't get an image of an Audi TT from that though. This was some time ago and I can't recall the quote exactly. I believe it was given in a speculative manner as if no decisions had been made yet.

    On the maximum Cayenne production capacity, I think that was to be 25k anticipated and 40k max. More recently they have said that capacity would be increased but I don't think any specific numbers were mentioned.

    I think the 4th model will be a four door sedan using the Cayenne V8 and possibly many other Cayenne components as well. A 2 door version may also be available.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Mike, I agree with you on the need for 4 doors, but if that is what Porsche is developing they cannot make it look like a box, ie BMW 5 series. I also like the RX8 concept. that would allow better access than a 2 door, but still allow Porsche to call it a 2+2 sports car rather than a sedan.

    If they use the VW Phaeton (sp?) platform then it will obviously be a 4 door sedan. (I hate the word SEDAN!)

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...


    I agree that it needs to look different from a boxy "sedan", and the RX-8 rear seat access solution is a possibility, as is bmh-images' idea of a CLS-style solution.

    I was initially very interested in Bentley's new GT, until ... I tried to sit in the back seat of one at the Geneva show. It was more than disappointing, since other aspects of the car were attractive to me. I already have all the 2-seat rides I need.

    Porsche made a big deal out of pre-Cayenne market research that said that the one other vehicle type Porsche owners most often held in common was an SUV. I'm betting that the same research said something that we'll hear about soon regarding 4 passenger non-SUVs.

    The CLS/RX-8 quasi-sedan concept has the advantage of a segment not well occupied by competitive entries, but with the possibility to satisfy Porsche fans who need more than 2 seats, but won't go for an SUV (or at least an expensive SUV).

    I think a 4-seat/4-door coupe with Porsche panache and driving dynamics might be a big hit with buyers teetering on the brink of Porsche ownership, but holding back because one can't take another couple to dinner in it, etc. (mundane social practicality). 4-doors would be a much easier sell to one's wife.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Isn't speculation and anticipation great! From a financial point of view Porsche obviously made the right decision with the Cayenne. Just look at the figures: I just hope the next decision will improve their "panache" (great word)

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Very interesting table. Is this sales or production and what is the cut-off date (end of Nov.).

    From what I see, the C2 Coupe is doing quite well (-15%).
    - The C4S familly (coupe + Cab) is improving with sales slightly up (1,667 vs 1,593) while TT familly (coupe + cab) are a bit weakish (1,567 vs 1,939).

    - If this table is referring to sales, it's normal as the C4S Cab and TT Cab have hit the market very recently.

    Yes, the Cayenne is a great success and this year (fiscal) it should be the best selling ever Porsche ... So wether people like it or not .... It's selling well.

    Regarding the 4th model, I think the Audi TT and Nissan Z segment will be addressed by the new Boxster Coupe.
    I hope Porsche will go for a GT 2+2 or 4 doors coupe with a V8 engine. It would make sense to use the brand new V8 of the Cayenne in another model rather than using the Boxster engine in the "low end" 4th model.

    When it comes to numbers, I believe Porsche will intend to sell around 25,000 units of the 4th model to break the 100,000 units mark. For example BMW is aiming at 25,000 6 series so it's not an unrealistic target for Porsche.

    In 1984/85 Porsche sold at its peak 5,000 928s. So to sell 25,000 by 2008 (24 years later) means a compound growth rate of 7% which I believe isn't really demanding.

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...


    Just to clarify, I believe those are US only sales numbers, correct? Through October?

    Re: Reuters Story on Porsche's 4th model...

    Hi GM,

    You're right, these numbers seems to be US sales at end of October (I have 23,200 which is very close to this one).

    I don't get such a precise breakdown of sales. I get it by familly only.... but to get it by model is very helpful (at least for me!!!!)

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    Thanks for the Autoweek reference Carlos. That may be the reference Fanch and I are thinking of but I thought it was earlier and was a direct quote rather than information attributed to Wiedeking. It looks like this article was written in September. Nice article and pertinent to this discussion. I am reasonably certain they have the 25k Cayenne production capacity incorrect. That was always the annual sales projection not production capacity.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    I think you are right, and I have my doubts about the real veracity of the information of that article, but I did make my mouth drop when I read the "lower" model range sedan

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    Yes, sedan, as in four doors, that's the image I got from the lower range statement, not an idea of the TT or Z car. I also seem to recall a Wiedeking statement that the Boxster would remain the entry level Porsche, in spite of this new lower range. I had in mind the equivalent to the BMW 3 or 5 series with the lower range reference meaning higher production volume (relatively) and not an exclusive type of car like a 7 series.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    I think you are right, and I have my doubts about the real veracity of the information of that article, but I did make my mouth drop when I read the "lower" model range sedan


    I have my doubts about the wisdom of Porsche going lower in price point.

    Any marketing person knows instinctively that lower price points attract a wider market in which to sell. There are simply more prospects in the pool at lower prices.

    However, since everybody (like Toyota) knows this, the competition at lower price points is wider and fiercer. This causes lots of grief, as every component has to be cost engineered more intensely. Eventually, it becomes impossible for small makers in high-cost labor markets to keep up. I fear for Porsche trying to step into this water, no matter how warm the water seems at the moment.

    Also, product image can suffer if the cost-engineering causes sacrifices in the perceived quality of the product. It risks tarnishing the image of the entire Porsche brand.

    It makes sense to say down-market because sales seem easier if large numbers are the targets, but Porsche seems to be pretty smart these days. I don't really buy the down-market feint.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    I suspect you are right and it is probably more a matter of intrepretation. A lower range to Wiedeking probably means something different that it does to Toyota. This lower range will likely be comparatively high priced. We should expect it to follow the Cayenne pricing stratagies.

    Re: The 4th model is on its way ...

    This year (fiscal) Porsche should sell over 30,000 Cayennes. For the first 4 month of their fiscal year (Aug--Nov) they sold 11,100 units which translates into an annualized rate of over 30,000 units. This number was acheived without the V6 which should account for roughly over 5,000 units per year. So for this fiscal year, Porsche should sell let's say around 32-33,000 Cayennes.

    As far as production capacity, the 25,000 units mentionned was a sales target, the installed capacity is around 40,000 units. My guess is they will get pretty close to that number in fiscal year 04/05.

    The Bratislava plant where bodies are made has an annual capacity of 100,000 with 60,000 Touareg and 40,000 Cayenne. They have said, if needed Volkswagen would increase the capacity.

    I hope the Boxster will remain the entry model in the range.

    By the way the 3 series production is over 500,000 units and if you include the Compact you're close to 600,000.

    On the other hand the 7 series production is 60,000 units basically Porsche's production !!!!

    BMW and Porsche are in a different league, the BMW brand should pass 1.0m units by 2005.... and by 2007/08 Porsche could be just over 100,000 or 1/10 of BMW.



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