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Porsche targets local record in 2014

The real Macan: Porsche’s highly anticipated Macan compact SUV, built on the Audi Q5 platform, is expected to add 400 sales a year for Porsche in Australia.

Model cycle set to put Porsche onto record-breaking sales in Australia by 2014

4 Jun 2012

PORSCHE expects to return to the record sales level of 2007 in Australia by 2014, when its latest 911, Boxster and Cayman model ranges will be fleshed out and joined by the vital new Macan compact SUV.

The German company was heavily impacted by the global financial crisis and was economically crippled, but is fighting back with the arrival of highly acclaimed all-new versions of its three sportscar models within months of each other.

And the icing on the cake will be the launch in 2014 of the Macan, which will be based on the Audi Q5 platform and will provide Porsche with a significant volume seller below the Cayenne full-size SUV, which vies with the 911 as the brand’s most popular model in Australia.

The Macan is expected to debut on home turf at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013 before coming to Australia in the first half of 2014.

By then, the new 991-series 911 range, which was initially launched here with Carrera 2 Coupe models in February, will have been boosted by the sleek new Cabriolet versions (from this month), all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and 4S in both Coupe and Cabriolet (in Australia from February 2013), 911 Turbo (late 2013) and GT3 (late 2013 or early 2014).

The new track-focused GT3 will be powered by a development of Porsche’s latest alloy 3.8-litre flat-six engine, cranked up to produce as much as 340kW of power compared with 320kW for the current model.

The range-topping twin-turbocharged rear-drive GT2 – the so-called “widow-maker” race homologation special that sells in relatively small numbers – will not arrive until late 2014 or even early 2015.

25 center imageFrom top: Porsche Boxster 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

Porsche Cars Australia doubled its sales between 2000 and 2007, culminating in the brand’s sales record of 1380 units, before the GFC bit hard, sending sales down to 1025 just two years later.

Sales recovered ground in 2010 (up 23.5 per cent to 1266) and again in 2011 (up 6.1 per cent to 1343), but PCA public relations manager Paul Ellis said that 2012 – which was down 14.1 per cent to the end of April – would be a “transition year”.

Mr Ellis said the 2007 record was set with a full model range available and that it would be 2014 before the company had such a circumstance again.

“We will reach those levels again,” he told GoAuto.

As well as fleshing out the new 911, Boxster and Cayman sportscar ranges over the next two years, Porsche expects a significant increase to come from the Macan, with initial expectations of 400 units a year for the sub-Cayenne SUV.

Although Mr Ellis conceded there may be some impact on sales of the Cayenne – which accounted for some 803 sales last year, well clear of the run-out 911 (201), Boxster (132), Cayman (104) and the four-door Panamera (103) – he believes the Macan will contribute mainly conquest sales for the brand.

In the short term, Porsche should get an immediate boost with the arrival this month of the first shipment of new-generation Boxster convertibles, which will officially go on sale in Australia from July 7.

The Boxster-based Cayman will not be revealed until later this year – potentially at the Los Angeles motor show in late November – before going on sale in Australia in the first quarter of 2013.

Mr Ellis believes the all-new Boxster/Cayman represents more than just a generational change and will alter the way people view the car.

“In future, people will come into dealerships asking for a Boxster, not just settling for one because they can’t afford a 911,” he said.

“What the factory has done is greater and more significant than what they did with the 911 in the change from the 997-series to the 991-series.

“We think it will exceed expectations. It’s its own car now – it has been hardened up visually and from a driving perspective. It will lose the hairdresser’s car tag.

“It is not so much a new Boxster as a shrunken Carrera GT. It looks and feels like the Carrera GT.”

The Carrera GT was Porsche’s fastest and most exclusive production car, a mid-engined supercar powered by a 450kW 5.7-litre V10 race engine and hand-built between 2004 and 2006. Only 1270 examples were produced.

The successor to the Carrera GT will be the 918 Spyder, which will also be mid-engined but powered by a 3.4-litre V8 engine developing 430 kW, with three electric motors delivering an additional 163 kW.

Previewed at the Geneva motor show two years ago, the 918 Spyder will be the first plug-in hybrid car from Porsche.

Even further out, having put a sub-Boxster entry-level sportscar developed in conjunction with VW on ice, Porsche may push ahead with the development of a smaller two-door version of the Panamera to compete with the BMW 5 Series, nicknamed the Pajun (for Panamera junior).

Alternatively, as has been mooted by none other than company CEO Matthias Mueller, Porsche may go with a “high-performance sportscar” priced between the 911 and 918.

What’s coming from Porsche:
Cayenne GTSSeptember
Carrera 4Feb 2013
Carrera 4SFeb 2013
CaymanFirst quarter 2013
911 GT3Late 2013
911 TurboLate 2013
Macan SUVFirst half 2014
911 GT2Early 2015

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