Porsche Cars North America Inc.’s sports cars are in hot demand as the company approaches the prime season for cars that don’t sell well when snow is falling.
On April 1, Porsche had only a 19-day supply of the new 911 Carrera, which went on sale last autumn, and 46 days of the second-generation Boxster, which reached dealerships in January.
“All Porsches are very scarce,” says Robert Snodgrass, owner of Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida. “We have less than a 15-day supply. The sports cars are hot as a pistol.”
Michael Bartsch, chief operating officer of Porsche Cars North America, says the 911 is scarcest in Sun Belt states such as Florida and California, where dealers have less than 30 days of cars.
Porsche expects a sales increase of 8 percent to 10 percent from 2004 to 2005, Bartsch says. Total sales in 2004 were 31,473 units.
Porsche won’t predict sales for individual models – particularly because it limits exports to the US to keep demand keen.
Porsche’s lean stocks reflect its new target of having only 45 days supply of cars in the US, Bartsch says. As of April 1, the automaker reported a 41-day supply.
911 sales soar
US sales of the 911 were 1,744 in the first quarter of 2005, up 123 percent from a year earlier.
The 911 is available in three variants, including the convertible now being launched. Bartsch says the 911 is hot because of its design.
Porsche deviated too much from the traditional design of the 911 with the previous model known as the 996, he says.
“We had gone a little soft in the appearance,” Bartsch says. “The new 911 picks up more of the DNA and lineage to the Carrera GT.”
The Carrera GT is a limited-edition supercar that sells for about $440,000 (about E337,000). The entry 911 Carrera is $70,065, including destination.
Boxster is 2nd hit
The second-generation Boxster is Porsche’s second hit of the quarter – despite its launch in the cold month of January. In the first three months, Boxster US sales were 1,752 units, up 85.8 percent from the year-ago period.
The entry Boxster costs $44,595, including shipping.
The Boxster competes with roadsters such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK, which was redesigned last autumn and showed a sales increase of 225.3 percent to 3,113 units during the first quarter compared with the same period last year.
The BMW Z4, on the other hand, was down 23 percent in the first three months, with sales of 1,909 units.
Overall, Porsche sold 7,219 vehicles in the first quarter, a 4.1 percent jump from the year-ago period.
The Cayenne SUV was Porsche’s sore spot. US sales were 3,093 units, down 23.3 percent from the first quarter of 2004.
Bartsch says Porsche brought too many Cayennes into the US in the last months of 2004.