Less than three years since its U.S. debut, the Porsche Cayenne has run out of steam with sales here slumping for the 10th month in a row.
The Cayenne's decline again raises the question of whether Porsche stretched the brand too much with an SUV -- particularly a vehicle with below-average quality scores.
U.S. sales of rival luxury SUVs also are down, leading some dealers and Porsche executives to conclude that the Cayenne is a victim of gasoline prices and the economy. Cayenne sales for the first 10 months of 2005 were 10,907, down 26.5 percent from a year earlier.
Indeed, the Volkswagen Touareg SUV, with which the Cayenne shares a platform and many components, is performing worse than the Cayenne. U.S. Touareg sales are down even more -- 36.9 percent through October.
Other dealers say the Cayenne reached its peak when sales hit 2,075 units in October 2004. They say it's a fashion-statement vehicle that doesn't command the loyalty that Porsche's sports cars do.
The Cayenne isn't due for a facelift until 2007.