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    Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Interesting article in BusinessWeek: web page

    Quote:
    As rivals target Porsche with a slew of hot new products, from BMW's Z4 roadster to Honda's (HMC ) Acura NSX, pressure is rising on Wiedeking to speed Porsche's next big model launch.




    And, an interview with Wiedeking in a separate article: web page

    Quote:
    Porsche will continue to launch attractive new products. There are some prototypes, but not even I am allowed to drive them yet. We have products on the drawingboard which are future concepts -- outside the existing segments of sports car and SUV. We haven't made a decision on them. We have the resources -- we have big reserves to execute. If you look at the big manufacturers, their accounts are not in as good a shape as ours.


    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Quote:
    We have products on the drawingboard which are future concepts -- outside the existing segments of sports car and SUV. We haven't made a decision on them.


    Looks like he is probing tha reactions to this idea by continuously throwing comments of this nature... scary

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Quote:
    Looks like he is probing tha reactions to this idea by continuously throwing comments of this nature... scary



    Carlos,

    Why do you say "scary"?

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Mike, I may be wrong but, personally, I'm afraid launching more new vehicles outside the existing segment of sports-car will hurt Porsche's image, reputation and sportcar focus in the future.

    He has repetetively thrown comments of this nature in the press about other future non-sportcar models in the line-up and he won't say anything more conclusive about it though they must have the whole thing far more advanced and planed for, so I'm guessing he is just trying to see what the reactions are to this idea and get a feel of the aceptance before jumping into it. But the more he talks about it the more I tend to think it will happen

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Quote:
    Looks like he is probing tha reactions to this idea by continuously throwing comments of this nature... scary



    Right to the point.
    But in his "Grandomania" he forgets that the name Porsche also means "exclusive", "special" and "seldom". If Porsche starts to build as many cars as BMW for example, a lot of traditional customers (probably incl. me) will be gone. There is still Ferrari around and others.
    Increasing shareholder value and gains is one thing but destroying the brand Porsche little by little another one.
    It would be a huge mistake if Porsche starts to build a low cost car again, maybe even with the help from VW or Audi.
    History seems to repeat itself, what a pitty.
    I'm very curious to see if my prediction is right about the Cayenne-911 sales figures. I still think that the Cayenne hurts 911/Boxster sales in a way or another and if the 997/987 don't have at least the same production numbers as the 996 in it's second or third year, I'm sure that I'm right.
    Another problem could be the introduction of the Cayenne V6 which lowers the image value of the Cayenne S and even the Turbo. I'd wish Porsche would stay with what they know best but apparently they want to grow at any cost.

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    The problem is that they NEED to grow, in order to satisfy share holders.
    This is a profit driven world, where there is not much space for passion at a managers board meeting, sad but true.
    As long as they do fantastic sports cars, I'm happy.

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Quote:
    The problem is that they NEED to grow, in order to satisfy share holders.
    This is a profit driven world, where there is not much space for passion at a managers board meeting, sad but true.
    As long as they do fantastic sports cars, I'm happy.




    Sad but true. Shareholders count most these days, tradition and values less.
    Buying a Porsche should be a special experience, an emotional journey to something exceptional and fantastic. It should be an experience full of passion, happiness and joy. I can't see that happen on a car with the brand name Porsche on it but without the special looks and drive feel.
    OK, they can build a 911-look-a-like with 150 HP for little money but I'm not sure this would be the right thing on a long run. Look what happened with the 924/944. And the 968 was a great car but with the wrong engine. A 4-cylindre on a Porsche? It was a sacrilege, no matter how good this engine was. A lot of mistakes have been made in Porsche's past, especially because they always tried to define a new 911 or even abandon it. The 928 is a good example for that.
    I'm afraid the success of the past few years might create the illusion of a perfect Porsche marketing philosophy. They were lucky too with the economies worldwide booming by that time.
    If Porsche thinks that creating a car just like that and putting the Porsche badge on it is enough to sell the product, they're wrong. The Cayenne might have been a good product from a strategical point of view because there are a lot of Porsche lovers who have a family and need more room or they have a SUV as a family car and would like to own a Porsche SUV. But what worked well with the Cayenne doesn't have to work well with a sports sedan or a GT Coupe.
    Time will tell.

    Re: Porsche in BusinessWeek

    Yes, their share holders will want more if its in their reach, but I'm afraid Porsche will loose its identity and exclusivety which is very much valued by their customers too. So becoming "one of the buch" may hurt them in the long run, I think. Also more models may mean more joint ventures and part-sharing with other brands which will also dilute their image and reputation. And ultimately they may end up compromising their "concept" of a sportcar that we identify with so much, in favor of more grouth, by designing it to appeal to broader market population, part sharing between models, less specialization, etc.

    Ok, enough doomsday the-end-is-near talk for today
    Who knows... their 997 is going to be a big hit for sure, the CGT is finally here and turned out simply perfect a lesson of balance and know-how to the rest of the manufacturters, maybe their 4th model is a front engined 4-seater GT-coupe that will rival the F575M/F612S and maybe they will finally pull the official racing progam out of the closet and kick "buttocks" in LeMans

    Re: Porsche doesn't need shareholders.


    Listed shares (Preferred) don't cary ANY voting right. On the other hand, Non listed shares (Ordinary) held by the families (Porsche and Piech) do hold 100% of the voting rights.

    So if Porsche has decided to make the Cayenne for example or will decide to make the 4th model, it's only because de the board and the management believe it's worth it.

    I don't think Porsche will loose its identity if they make 100,000 units per year. For example, the world passenger car maket is around 50.0m per year, so 100,000 is still minuscule...

    BMW (brand) and Mercedes (brand) make approximately 1.0m units a year each. OK a 3 series or a C Class aren't "exclusive" cars, BUT the SL or the 6 Series are still exclusive and priced accordingly...

    We have to remember in early 90's, Porsche was in deep trouble and was producing at that time just above 10,000 units (vs 66,800 last year) of which 7,000 911s. Are these 964 more exclusive than the current 996 which has been made at more than 150,000 units ?

    If we want to continue enjoy driving these marvelous cars at a reasonnable price, we have to accept that Porsche has to share some development costs with other models...

    For example a Ferrari 355 is basically twice the price of a 911 and isn't significantly different when it comes to performance, road handling ... Ferrari makes only 4,000 units per year and is barely profitable.... So they need to belong to a larger group....

    I believe, Porsche even if they produce 100,000 units per year will remain an exclusive car maker ... not as exclusive as Aston Martin or Lambo... but still exclusive. Most of the growth will come from new markets. For example currently approximately 80% of the production is sold in Europe and North America... So there is a lot of room to grow in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia,...) and in Latin America.

    Re: Porsche doesn't need shareholders.


    My apologies ... I pressed the wrong button....

    If we see Porsches everywhere despite such a small production .... it's because we are addicted AND because Porsche has the highest survival rate of any car maker. 80% of Porsches produced are still on the road. It's not unusual to see a 911 SC or a 911 3.2l Carrera even if they are over 20 years old and they still look great...

    I believe Porsche want to stay a very very small player but not being transformed into a marginal one that needs to merge with a larger group. Do we want to see Porsche being bought by VW, GM or Ford. For example, Aston Martin has lost its spirit since it belongs to Ford.... Same thing for Jaguar... I'm quite sure, VW (sorry Audi) will mess-up sooner that later with Lambo...

    Re: Porsche doesn't need shareholders.

    I see your point Eric, but in my case I was reffering to exclusivety more in the type of models to be produced (low range Cayenne, sedan, etc. instead of only high-performance sportcars) and not the volume of those sales. BTW that was a very informative post

    BTW along those lines, I was surprised to know the other day that Spain is Porsche's 6th largest market and 5 CGT's are coming just to Galicia (my region of Spain in the northwest corner).

    Re: Porsche's largest markets


    Hi Carlos,

    You're right, Spain is an important market for Porsche.

    According to Porsche's annual report (2002/2003), they delivered to 61,139 (+13.4%) vehicles to customers.

    By decreasing order, the main markets are:
    #1 North America (US+Canada) 24,745 (+8.9%), #2 Germany 11,031 (-13.3%), #3 UK 6,627 (+15%) and 1,145 right hand drive units were delivered by continental Europe dealers, #4 Italy 3,101, #5 Japan 1,692, #6 France 1,580, #7 Switzerland 1,353 (+13.6%), #8 Benelux 1,192 (+1.8%), #9 Spain & Portugal 1,188 (+30%), #10 Austria 620 (+15%).

    All in all, North America accounted for 40.4%, Europe for 46% and Japan 3% which is 90% of total sales!!!

    It is interesting to note Italy is Porsche's 4th largest market while they have Ferrari, Lambo, Maserati,...

    My guess is, Italians like reliable and "practical" sportscars....

    Re: Porsche's largest markets

    Quote:

    Hi Carlos,

    You're right, Spain is an important market for Porsche.

    According to Porsche's annual report (2002/2003), they delivered to 61,139 (+13.4%) vehicles to customers.

    By decreasing order, the main markets are:
    #1 North America (US+Canada) 24,745 (+8.9%), #2 Germany 11,031 (-13.3%), #3 UK 6,627 (+15%) and 1,145 right hand drive units were delivered by continental Europe dealers, #4 Italy 3,101, #5 Japan 1,692, #6 France 1,580, #7 Switzerland 1,353 (+13.6%), #8 Benelux 1,192 (+1.8%), #9 Spain & Portugal 1,188 (+30%), #10 Austria 620 (+15%).

    All in all, North America accounted for 40.4%, Europe for 46% and Japan 3% which is 90% of total sales!!!

    It is interesting to note Italy is Porsche's 4th largest market while they have Ferrari, Lambo, Maserati,...

    My guess is, Italians like reliable and "practical" sportscars....



    You sure are a bottomless source of information
    That fact I got was from a recent interview of the new director of Porsche Iberica.

    Italians may be passionate when they talk but are smarter when their pockets are concerned

    Re: Porsche's largest markets

    Have you gentlemen forgotten the little matter of limited production of Italian sport cars? Factor in price of the vehicle it is no wonder Italians opt to trade down.

    Re: Porsche's largest markets

    Quote:
    Have you gentlemen forgotten the little matter of limited production of Italian sport cars? Factor in price of the vehicle it is no wonder Italians opt to trade down.



    You didn't get it. The fact that Italy is the 4th largest market of Porsche above many more economically bouyant and/or larger populated countries inspite of the fact that they are actually the home of the biggest competition like Ferrari, Maserati & Lamborghini and their tiffossi. Get the irony? nothing to do with production numbers or price which is the same for those other countries as well...

    Re: Porsche's largest markets

    France is just behind Italy in terms of Porsche market share and when I talked to someone from Porsche France when I went to Zuffenhausen, one year ago, he told me France is just behind and the only reason why they didn't sold as many Porsches as Italy, is only due to fiscal reasons. Just repeating his words.
    French taxes are a bitch though
    I read in the french equivalent of business week that amongst the 30 Carrera GTs ordered in France, half go to Monaco

    Re: Porsche's largest markets

    The implication from the above threads was that Italians preferred Porsches over the less reliable Italian cars. Your assumption was predicated on the fact Porches fourth largest market was in Italy. My point is that you could not arrive at that generalization because of the limited production and price issue.

    Capice?

    Re: Porsche's largest markets


    It is interesting to note that UK, Italy and France have roughly the same population (approx 60.0m) and are more or less at parity when it comes to wealth per capita. This being said, it's worth noting that Porsche is selling 7,700 units (6,600+1,100) in the UK, less than half in Italy (3,100) and less than a quarter of that in France (1,600).

    Definitely fiscal issues have something to do with this but in my opinion can't explain the difference... I think it's more cultural. I believe France is (still) a wealthy country but it's badly perceived to "show-off" and driving a Porsche is definitely a sign of wealth.... and other people are jealous. Unfortunately you can't leave you Porsche on the street in Paris, it will be vandalized immediately while in London, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Porsches are parked in the street ....

    On the other hand, we can say Brits are Porsche fanatics as they relatively buy more Porsche cars per capita than on the other side of the Atlantic.... where people are wealthier... My reading of this is Brits are sports car fanatics they have brands like Lotus, TVR, Caterham, Jag, AM,.... In the UK, the Boxster is very popular and sales are still strong (even growing slightly) while in other countries they are collapsing...

    When it comes to sales in Monaco, I don't know where they are accounted (France or Italy or separetely).

     
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