ZHUHAI, China – Within the next three years, Porsche AG says it wants to expand the number of its dealers in China so that it can boost sales by 50 percent.
This year, the company expects to increase China sales by 10 percent to 10,000 units, and in 2013 it hopes to sell 15,000 units, said Porsche China chief Helmut Broeker, 54, during a race event at Zhuhai International Circuit in southern China.
In June, the automaker established its first company-owned sales branch in Shanghai. This has led to "a great deal of trust in the brand," Broeker said.
In early November, a Porsche dealer opened a showroom in Taiyuan, a huge coal district in the northern province of Shanxi.
"We're looking at the sales territories carefully," said Broeker. This year, he wants to place 10 new dealerships at strategically important locations.
In China, the 911 model line and the brand's motor sports heritage have shaped the Porsche's image.
Cayenne China favorite
But unlike consumers in other countries, the typical Porsche buyer in China does not choose Porsche's iconic 911. Instead, he tends to buy the Cayenne SUV, due to the bad roads there.
The Cayenne accounts for 60 percent of China sales, Broeker said. "At the moment, demand exceeds supply," he noted.
The Chinese are mostly ordering a version that isn't even offered in the German market: a Cayenne with a turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI engine.
This powertrain is assembled in Gyor, Hungary. And therein lies the problem. The six-cylinder engine also is used in the Audi A6, A7, A8 and Q7. Due to limited factory capacity, Porsche cannot get enough of these engines.
Buyers of the Chinese Cayenne must wait up to nine months for their new SUV.
In China, that's normally reason enough to switch brands. But the Chinese are waiting patiently since the 300-hp V-6 offers the most affordable opportunity to own a Porsche Cayenne.
The reason: The government levies a consumption tax of "only" 44 percent on models with engines displacements up to 3.0 liters. The tax rises to 110 percent for displacements above 4.0 liters. The Cayenne's V-8 variant falls into that category.