Porsche to increase Cayenne output to meet surging demand
BERLIN -- Porsche will boost production of the Cayenne SUV next year after surging deliveries of the brand's best-selling model spurred a 37 percent sales gain in the first half.
Cayenne output will increase by 10 percent to 20 percent starting in 2012, Bernhard Maier, Porsche's sales chief, said in an interview.
Demand for the vehicle, which starts at 57,930 euros in Germany, caused delivery times to peak to as high as 12 months in markets such as China. Porsche wants waiting time to be no longer than six months.
"We're now looking into ways we can expand production capacity to be able to serve our customers more quickly," Maier said at the automaker's headquarters in Stuttgart.
"First-half data show that we're growing almost consistently in all world markets and across all model lines."
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, which jointly owns the sports car maker with Volkswagen AG, plans to merge with the Germany-based manufacturer. Backed by VW's resources, the automaker aims to double sales to about 200,000 vehicles by 2018 by adding a compact SUV and increasing sales in emerging markets.
Porsche should boost deliveries to more than 100,000 this year from 97,000 in 2010, Maier said. Porsche, which also makes the 76,673 euro Panamera four-door coupe, increased sales 29 percent to 10,670 models last month, leading to sales of 60,650 units through June, Maier said. Six-month orders rose 26 percent to 65,660. There was a 12 percent decline in June orders to 10,450, because year-earlier bookings were inflated by a revamped version of the Cayenne.
The carmaker plans to release complete first-half sales data on July 12, according to company spokesman Dirk Erat.
Panamera sales may rise to more than 28,000 units this year, compared with more than 20,000 in the first year after the model came to market in September 2009, Maier said. Overall sales growth will slow in the coming months after record deliveries in the second half of 2010.
The forthcoming overhaul of the 911 may also hamper sales, he said. Prospects in the U.S., the company's biggest market, are "very positive," said Maier, a former executive at BMW AG who took charge of Porsche's sales operations in April 2010.
Its U.S. sales rose 42 percent, to 15,542 vehicles through the first six months of 2011, after a 19 percent June gain. "The U.S. market is still characterized by a degree of volatility that shouldn't be underestimated," Maier said in the July 6 interview. "In the coming years, growth is conceivable in the U.S. to help return to levels seen before the crisis."