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      11-05-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Porsche WSJ article

If you subscribe, there's a story on the Wall Street Journal examining that SUV sales by Porsche could overtake their sales of sports cars in the US.

Link is here if you have access.

Some exerpts:

"It absolutely could be the volume model," said Mike Sullivan, owner of Pacific Porsche in Torrance, Calif. The new SUV, he added, should appeal to affluent young buyers who still can't afford a $75,000 Cayenne or a $100,000 911 sports car. The Macan also could give Porsche new appeal to women.

The Macan is a key step in Porsche's drive to expand the reach of its brand well beyond the costly and high-performance sports-car niche. The company, owned by Volkswagen AG VOW3.XE -0.57% , is aiming for world-wide sales of more than 200,000 vehicles a year by 2018. That would be a 40% jump from the 141,000 it sold in 2012.

In the U.S., its largest market, Porsche is on track to sell more than 40,000 cars this year. To support its U.S. growth, Porsche is spending more than $120 million to open a test track and conference facility at its new headquarters outside of Atlanta, and a second "Experience Center" in Carson, Calif., near Los Angeles.

Both are places where owners and prospective customers can drive Porsches at the high speeds, of 100 miles an hour or more, to get a sense of their power without running afoul of traffic laws. For SUV drivers, there will be off-road courses. The company also is building a large showroom in Manhattan to serve consumers in New York.

With the Macan, Porsche is doubling down on a bet that it can maintain the exclusive image of its 911 sports cars while simultaneously broadening its appeal to consumers who are merely upper middle class.

Porsche had some missteps in the 1970s and '80s with lower-priced models that reflected poorly on the brand. Other luxury brands have tripped up in efforts to expand down market. Mercedes-Benz several years ago offered a model called the R-Class with three rows of seats and a minivan-like profile. It flopped, and was dropped in the U.S. market. BMW AG BMW.XE -2.87% 's 1-series, a small car originally aimed at European customers, has been a disappointment so far in the U.S. where it sells at the rate of just 500 a month.

The Macan is "going to be a double-edged sword," for Porsche, said Mike Davis, a collectibles dealer in Atlanta who drives a 911 Carrera. He said he doesn't think he would be interested in a Macan. "I'm sure there will be people who see Porsche as less exclusive, that the brand is watered down."

Last edited by bjayfan; 11-05-2013 at 05:45 PM..
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