Porsche aims to build on its position as world’s most profitable carmakerDespite costly expansion plans Porsche wants „to remain the world’s most profitable car manufacturer and build on this position“, the brand's CEO Matthias Mueller said in an interview published by Automotive News Europe. Porsche has long been the benchmark for profitability in the auto industry. Announcing its most recent financial results in October, the company reported a pre-tax profit margin of 16 percent for the 12 months ending July 31 2010. Mueller said Porsche is considering expanding production outside its home market of Germany in countries such as China and the United States as part of its growth plans. The brand would expand with the help of Volkswagen Group. Porsche is currently merging with VW.
“VW Group plans to sell between 10 million and 11 million cars a year. Production capacities are at 7 million to 8 million. To meet required capacity, VW needs to build five to six new plants worldwide. We should of course be signalling our requirements in good time”, Mueller said.
The iconic 911 sports car will remain Porsche's core product and the new 911 that will come to market at the end of this year it will be “the most successful 911 of all time,” Mueller predicts. He said Porsche aims to sell 30,000 units a year of the new 911 averaged over its life cycle. By comparison, 911 sales were about 20,000 last year as the car reached the end of its life cycle.
Mueller said Porsche's investments for its new 918 Spyder sports car, which launches in 2013, will be comparable to the 120 million-euro investment for the Carrera GT, although the cost of developing the 918 Spyder's powertrain will be extra. 918 units of the 918 Spyder will be built, according to Mueller. Currently, the 918 Spyder is planned as a convertible, but there may be a hardtop coupe version. “It is certainly possible for our engineers to derive a coupe variant from an open-top version,” Mueller said.
He said China will probably become Porsche biggest global market soon. Last year, the United States was Porsche’s biggest single market, followed by Germany, then China. Mueller said Porsche will build pure electric cars if the market for such vehicles takes off in a big way. “We are not closing our minds to this development. Should it become apparent by 2020 that 20 percent of all new cars are electric, you can take it that Porsche will also be challenging for 20 percent of its sales to be electric vehicles. But I’m reckoning on a total EV share closer to 3 percent to 5 percent by 2020.”