By on March 21, 2010

Even in the darkest days of double nickel, the U.S. of A. had been Porsche’s largest market. In Zuffenhausen, they had tried to get to the bottom of a phenomenon that defied German logic: Why buy a Porsche if you can only crawl along at 55 mph? Ever so thankful for the unexpected sales, Porsche abandoned the search for the unknown.

Now, Porsche is looking eastwards for growth. In the Monday edition of Automobilwoche, Porsche’s marketing head Klaus Berning will announce that his employer is looking for double-digit growth in Asia this year. Berning will be quoted as saying that he expects sales in Europe to show “some growth at best” this year, while it would take “quite some time” to return to the levels of before the financial crisis in North America. In other words: Don’t hold your breath.

“Asia” of course is code for “China.” In 2008, China became Porsche’s 3rd largest market, after the U.S.A. and Germany. Last year, Porsche’s sales in the U.S.A. cratered by 40 percent as disposable income and paper profits evaporated. In 2012, Porsche wants to outsell Germany with 16,000 Porsches sold to in China. With double digit growth projection, China will soon be Porsche’s largest market.

And Zuffenhausen will have another conundrum to crack: The speed limit on China’s many highways is 130km/h, which converts to 80 mph. China’s highways are littered with speed traps and automated cameras that dispatch an expensive ticket to the privacy of your home – something the Chinese quickly learned from Europe. So why drive a Porsche in China? As long as the sales grow at double digit rates, Zuffenhausen will be loath to find out.

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10 Comments on “Porsche Looks Eastwards For Growth...”


  • avatar
    stationwagon

    the part ” “Asia” of course is code for “China.” ” Has me wondering if European Luxury cars are as unsuccesful as other imports in Japan’s car market.

    • 0 avatar
      hans007

      european luxury cars are much much more succesful than japanese or korean ones in china.

      most government officials drive audi’s there, its something like the official luxury car of the chinese govt.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      hans007, those Audi A6s are produced by an old JV and cost as much as an Accord. Don’t confuse it with Lexus ES, BMW 3/5, or even Audi’s own A4, which is more prestigious than A6 in China.

  • avatar
    detlump

    It’s my understanding that many wealthy Chinese have drivers, and they don’t do much or any driving themselves. They sit in back and enjoy rear seat amenities, talk on the phone, entertain a guest or two. I am not sure that a 2 seat sports car will interest them. The SUV or 4 door might. Another reason why Aston is doing the same thing.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If the Chinese embrace Buick but reject Porsche, it proves one thing: that the Chinese are insane.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Is there famine underway in the People’s Republic?

    Those models are mighty skinny.

    Perhaps we the overfed here in the “colonies” can take up a sandwich collection and FedEx a few to then gals that could use some padding on those bony bones.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    Bertel, thanks for your endless supply of exotic photography. The cars are nice too. “Hey, muchachas! You think my 911 is nice? I’ve got a big condo right next to the Longwan Shaman Amusement Park!” (HT: hakata, http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2362087.html)

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the demand for tall slim young women is always buoyant

    the demand for high end euro sports cars will always be buoyant in China and Japan (and every other country) that has a proportion of the population consisting of rich and juvenile young men who appreciate powerslides and quarter miles…


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