New Panamera: Porsche's Next Cash Cow?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
new panamera porsche s next cash cow

Here's Edmunds' take on the forthcoming Porsche Panamera: "Building a sedan might seem like Porsche is stretching beyond its limits, but the Cayenne's success proves that it can build more than just sports cars." Purists might argue with the use of the word "might;" for them, a Porsche sedan is like a Steinway electric piano. (Ferrari may make some fine GT's, but they never moved past a four-door mock-up, so to speak.) As for the Porsche SUV's "success," if we're talking sales, there's no argument there. Statman Frank Williams reports that U.S. Cayenne sales rose 10.1 percent year-to-date. While we're only contemplating the difference between 8877 vs and 8060 units ('07 vs. '06), that compares to 9833 911s (up from 9162). Equally important, Boxster and Cayman sales are relatively tiny– and falling. Boxster sales sank 24.1 percent (2832 in '07 vs 3729 in '06), while Cayman sales crashed 12.1 percent (4732 in '07 vs 5382 in '06). Mind you, ALL of these cars are wildly profitable. But given the fact that the current Boxster and Cayman are two (one?) of the best cars Porsche has ever built, perhaps two of the best sports cars EVER built, one wonders if Porsche should have put more money into promoting their "entry level" models rather than adding a four-door sedan. Oh well. Onwards and upwards.

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4 of 13 comments
  • Argentla Argentla on Nov 05, 2007

    I dunno. The Porsche faithful have unceremoniously rejected most of Zuffenhagen's efforts to do something that departed from the 911 formula (914, 928). There does seem to be a certain market for the super-premium sedan, if the number of Maserati Quattroportes I see is any indication, but I wonder if maybe they shouldn't try to call it a Porsche.

  • Johnster Johnster on Nov 05, 2007

    I think there's a market for a 4-door Porsche (as well as a latter day 928 style coupe), but as other sources have repeatedly pointed out, the 4-door sedan prototypes that have been spyed so far are all decidely UGLY and at this point I'm worried for Porsche.

  • Shortthrowsixspeed Shortthrowsixspeed on Nov 05, 2007

    guyincognito: i agree that porsche enjoys it's spot at the top of the prestige and luxury mountain because of its unapologetic adherence to divine sports cars (period). part of what makes a porsche luxurious is the understanding that the driver doesn't need a sedan. Or, perhaps more accurately, the driver has the means to have a luxury car and a sports car in his/her stable. sport sedans are by definition compromises between practicality and performance. The market for them has created competition that has greatly decreased the compromise, but it still remains. No one would argue that their M5 is equal to their neighbor's 911 turbo in pure sports car standards. The M5 gives a little in that department in order to take three friends along for the ride. So, by porsche entering this market it is diluting its "pure" line of sports cars. I think this is a mistake. However, if anyone can shock the world with a truly uncompromising sports sedan, porsche can.

  • Mrcknievel Mrcknievel on Nov 06, 2007

    While it is a "compromise" of the Porsche image to cough up a sedan, it makes perfect sense. They can poach the Bentley Flying Spur/S63/Maserati Q-Port crowd with a car that doesn't require a an environmentally hostile V/W-12 mill to give fun loving plutocrats their daily grins on the way to the top office. It'll sell. In a time period when German = unreliable it shouldn't be all that hard to convince people to ignore the gremlin plagued Audi and MB offerings to drop 100+ stacks on a car that will still give up the snob appeal without paying the price in a waiting room at the stealership's maintenance garage...