ATLANTA — Porsche Cars North America is the latest to join the growing convoy of automakers moving from monthly to quarterly U.S. sales reports.
"Monthly sales figures rarely capture the overall picture of how our business is developing," Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer said in a statement Thursday. "Quarterly reporting better aligns with the Porsche premium brand positioning that is focused on performance and experience."
Porsche's U.S. sales increased eight straight months through December, and the automaker bucked the industry's downturn last year with a 7.6 percent overall gain.
In April 2018, General Motors was the first of the Detroit 3 to abandon monthly reporting. Crosstown rival Ford followed starting in 2019. Then, last May, FCA announced it would end monthly reports in Canada and the United States.
"We think the intense focus on month-to-month numbers is just not how we want to run the business," Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said a year ago. "We believe quarterly will provide great transparency."
Other brands are also exploring a change in the timing of their U.S. sales reports.
In April, a Hyundai Motor America spokesman told Automotive News that the Korean automaker is discussing options. Meanwhile, a Nissan spokesman said the company is taking a wait-and-see approach. Honda has indicated it plans to continue reporting on a monthly basis to maintain transparency.
Some analysts, however, warn that moving to quarterly reports could lead to less transparency and more speculation and errors, especially if some automakers follow suit and others do not.
“The auto market is critical to the U.S. economy, so delays in knowing what’s going on is not good for Wall Street, or Main Street," said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.
Chesbrough, however, expects the shift to quarterly reporting to continue among automakers.
“There is not much to be gained by putting your results out there when no one else does,” he said.
Porsche said it is making the move effective immediately. It will report first-quarter U.S. sales in April.