3 December 2003
STUTTGART – Sports car company Porsche, coming off a record earnings year, said its sales in the first four months of the new business year remained buoyant thanks to the new sports utility vehicle Cayenne, and hinted at a possible new car product.
Porsche said that its total vehicle sales in the August-November period reached 22,016, up 49.6 percent on the same period a year earlier, with the gains coming solely thanks to the Cayenne.
The new sports utility vehicle, with sales of 11,157 in the four- month period, accounted for just over half of Porsche’s total. Sales of the classic 911- series sports car dropped 13.8 percent to 7,226 and those of the Boxter by 39.6 percent to 3,633 cars, Porsche said.
Company chairman Wendelin Wiedeking was confident about Porsche’s prospects in the current business year through 31 July 2004, citing among other factors the upturn in the US economy, which is the carmaker’s biggest market.
He also said Porsche’s currency managers had made ample provisions in order to compensate for the strong rise of the euro against the dollar, which would also factor into strong earnings growth.
“We are counting on a continued good earnings situation,” Wiedeking said.
He was clearly pleased about the success of the Cayenne, which he said had confirmed Porsche’s strategy to produce three different lines of vehicles.
The Cayenne had helped Porsche tap into a market segment “which has made possible additional growth outside our established core business”, Wiedeking said. He added that the company might have “some surprises” in store in the years ahead.
The last remark was taken by car industry analysts as a further indication that Porsche may be heading toward a decision to launch a fourth vehicle, possibly in the van segment.
In the 2002-2003 year, Porsche posted a record-high pre-tax profit of EUR933 million, surpassing the EUR828.9 million in the previous year.
Car sales, at 66,803, were up 23 percent over the 2001-2002 fiscal year figure of 54,234, while turnover, at EUR5.58 billion was nearly 15 percent higher above the 2001-2002 volume of EUR4.86 billion.
Subject: German news