Rumours surrounding the Porsche Pajun, the German sports car specialist's proposed rival to the BMW 5 Series, have largely been quashed, as sales surge and the company struggles to meet demand across its entire range of high-performance cars and SUVs.
As the profitability jewel in Volkswagen Group’s 12-brand portfolio, Porsche has showed the greatest year-on-year performance in relative terms, with sales up from 155,000 to 187,000 in 2014. Sales for this year are expected to exceed the 200,000-unit mark, a figure that was originally earmarked as the company’s goal for 2018.
The rising star in the Porsche line-up is its newest model, the Macan – a smaller SUV that sits under the larger Cayenne, though both are only five-seaters and both are hugely popular and big sellers in multiple markets.
Despite production capacity of up to 50,000 units annually, Australian customers are currently waiting up to nine months for their Macans with no sign of the queue getting any shorter. Despite the issue, it’s a win/win situation for Porsche, as those buyers not prepared to wait are apparently choosing to buy the pricier Cayenne, which is more readily available.
The fact Porsche has pushed the pause button on the four-door Pajun sedan, also means that the much anticipated seventh model series may also be on hold due largely to production capacity constraints.
That said, Porsche CEO Mathias Muller remains confident of a new model line and is on record as saying that Porsche is looking at several options.
“Bank on the fact that we’ve got a few good ideas up our sleeves. But every concept has to be rigorously tested. What are the market prospects? Does the concept fit with the core values of Porsche and our existing product range? Will we reach new customers with the planned model without unsettling longtime Porsche enthusiasts?
"We have to sort out all these questions before we make a decision,” Muller told Christophorus – Porsche’s owner’s magazine.
Porsche also believes fully electric vehicles with a Porsche badge are still some time away, given that battery technology isn’t where it needs to be for its customers. However that doesn’t mean that development has slowed.
“In parallel with the hybridisation of our model range, we’re working full bore on continuing to enhance the efficiency of our combustion range. That includes turbo-downsizing – in other words, reducing displacement while boosting power through turbocharging,” Muller also said.
It’s clear that Porsche could quite easily gear up to produce more vehicles to satisfy the demand for its products, however, Muller has also said they don’t want to jeopardise the brand’s exclusivity by producing too many cars.
“Exclusivity is a crucial brand value for Porsche which we will certainly not carelessly out at risk. Take Porsche’s share of the global market for passenger vehicles: today we’re at under 0.3 per cent. So for every thousand new vehicles, just two or three of them will bear the Porsche crest,” added Muller.