Porsche sales surge ahead

German sports car maker expects to sell 100,000 units a year

Tokyo. Porsche expects to reach its target of 100,000 annual unit sales faster than expected.

"We won't have to wait until 2008 to reach annual sales of 100,000 units," Hans Riedel, Porsche's marketing and sales chief, said in an interview at the Tokyo auto show.

Porsche expects its sales to be boosted by the launch of two new models, the Cayman sports coupe and the Panamera four-door sedan, and by growth in North America, Japan, Australia and the emerging markets of China and Russia.

Slow Cayenne sales

During the 2004-2005 fiscal year, ending July 31, Porsche sold 88,400 units, a 16 percent increase over the 2003-2004 fiscal year

In the current fiscal year, Porsche wants to boost unit sales in the United States, its main market, to 40,000 units from 34,100 units last year.

That's despite the sluggish sales recently for the Cayenne SUV, which accounts for nearly half of Porsche's global sales. In the first nine months Porsche built 30,203 Cayennes compared with 31,839 in the same period last year, according to J.D. Power-LMC.

Growth markets

"Today we are registering 8 percent of our sales in growth markets. Soon it will be 10 percent," said Riedel.

In China, Porsche plans to sell about 2,000 units in 2006-2007. In 2004-2005, unit sales totaled about 530.

For Japan, Riedel is predicting 4,000 sales, up from 3,045 in the last fiscal year.

Riedel expects Porsche's sales in Australia to grow by about 500 units to 1,700 vehicles in the current business year. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region should be 2,500 units, up 500 from the previous business year.

By the end of next year Porsche plans to have expanded its dealer network in China to 20 sales outlets from nine.

"And in Russia, we will triple the number of Porsche centers from to 15 from five," Riedel said.

Currently Porsche has about 600 dealers worldwide, with 250 in Europe and 220 in the United States.

New products

Riedel expects Porsche to sell 10,000 Caymans in its first full year. The Boxster-based sports coupe will be launched on November 26.

Porsche's fourth production series, the Panamera, will sell about 20,000 units a year. The coupe-like four-seat sedan will go on sale in 2009.

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