Porsche Surrenders More Brand Equity

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer
porsche surrenders more brand equity

This is what happens when a company makes more money by playing the markets than by selling product: the financial guys take over. In the good old days, Porsche made smallish, nimble cars that had great SPM and MPG ratings (the former being smiles per mile). Nowadays, Porsches are no longer small, but still manage to be desirable to car enthusiasts, Yuppie moms and pimps alike. With few exceptions, Porsches have always delivered a unique package of intuitive steering, a great soundtrack, a tractable engine with a wide power band, fantastic brakes and everyday reliability. Did somebody at Porsche explain “well, four outta six ain’t half bad” when the question was asked whether the “soundtrack” and “wide power band” parts are dispensable? We ask this since Porsche announced that for the first time ever, it will be using Diesels. Spiegel Online reports from Februrary 2009 onwards, European markets will enjoy (not!) Cayennes fitted the VW 3.0 TDI engine I kinda liked (and disliked) in the Audi Q7. It is not a bad engine, as it has more torque than the basic gasoline version. But it does make the Cayenne seem even more like an overpriced Touareg on steroids, which is saying something, since the Touareg is kinda like an overpriced Passat on stilts. More data for Chuck Goolsbee: 244g CO2; 550NM; 25.3 MPG according to EU ratings; €56k. Porsche thinks it needs this one because of CO2 regulations, until it gets its hybrid up and running. We suspect the real reason is that German Cayanne sales are down 13% this year.

Join the conversation
4 of 15 comments
  • MrDot MrDot on Nov 24, 2008

    "So what do you prefer, an independent sports car fundamentalist company dying or a thriving performance car companies which also happens to make some of the best sportscars in the world?" Well now that they're involved with VW, why don't they let VW/Audi take care of the people-movers and keep Porsche focused on what it does best?

  • ChuckR ChuckR on Nov 24, 2008

    I've driven a Cayenne S as a loaner a few times. Its the answer to a question I'd never ask. If somebody was giving you an SUV of any type for free and it had to be your primary conveyance, you'd be happy with the Cayenne. It is downright homely but no SUV is really attractive - slab-sidedly innocuous at best. Safety wise, I'll bet your chances of groundlooping one of these is lower than most any comparable sized SUV. "In the good old days, Porsche made smallish, nimble cars that had great SPM and MPG ratings". I got a close as I could - a Cayman S - 20% less podgy than a 911, 30-50% less pricey and the latest SPMs happened just a little bit ago on my way back from lunch. Hint - just forget the top 2 gears exist. And speed up in corners.

  • Fahrkultur Fahrkultur on Nov 24, 2008

    Simple solution. Buy a vintage Porsche (356 or 911) if you don't like the comfort of current models.

  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Nov 25, 2008

    Since when was the Cayenne ever fun? It drives like a Panzer tank, not a Porsche.