By on December 4, 2011

Despite still not having been amalgamated into the sprawling Volkswagen empire (blame the lawyers,) Porsche wants to do its share for Volkswagen’s all-out assault to the top. According to Strategie 2018, sorry, make that according to “Mach 18,” the Volkswagen empire wants to be on top in all respects before the decade ends. A small sports car company with barely 100,000 units won’t bring much volume, but they will try as much as they can.  “Porsche aims to double its annual U.S. sales within seven years by dramatically expanding its product lineup — while maintaining its U.S. dealer body at almost the same size,” Automotive News Europe [sub] reports.

Porsche won’t even shy away from the unthinkable – like bringing diesels to America.

“By 2018, we will sell around 50,000 cars in the U.S.,” Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, told ANE. That’s double of Porsche’s 25,320 units sold in the United States last year. This year,  v. Platen thinks he will sell “more than 29,000 units” in the U.S.

To support the assault, Porsche will land three new models stateside in 2012:  The redesigned 911 in February, a 430-hp Panamera GTS in spring, and, hold your nose, a Cayenne diesel, planned for the second half of the year.

Don’t laugh. Porsche plans that the oilburning Cayenne will amount to 15 percent of all Cayennes sold in the U.S., and it allots another 15 percent to the Cayenne gasoline-electric hybrid.

In 2013, Porsche will throw a fresh Cajun crossover into the battle.

All of that will be sold through fewer dealers. Platen thinks that his U.S. dealer network, currently counting 200 outlets, will be “slightly consolidating.”

Globally, Porsche wants to double annual sales from 95,000 last year to 200,000 in 2018. It will be a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 10 million of sales the Volkswagen empire will need for word domination, but every drop counts.


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12 Comments on “Wunderwaffe Diesel: Porsche Plans All-Out Assault On U.S. Soil...”

  • avatar

    Can you say brand dilution?

    Maybe in the US it works a little better than in Europe; Porsche becomes the new Audi, VW goes down market so it’s going to be the de facto Skoda/SEAT and Audi is going to be the new old Veedub (the Veedub that wanted to be ‘premium’).

    I think they’d still be better served to try and focus on finally making Audi really work in the US, possibly by at long last springing for some RWD platforms. Now I’ll see them hurting both brands; Porsche loses some of its cachet selling ordinairy vehicles to yuppies and yet said yuppies may not like Audi anymore once it’s only VW’s entry level luxury badge.

    In Europe it’s just going to be a mess. All the purists will scream bloody murder and I think almost every Cayun they sell will be at the cost of a Q5 they don’t sell.

    It’s going to be the 914/924 all over again, except worse cause in time those two actually turned out to be quite fun for club racers, whereas the Cayun will not.

  • avatar

    “Porsche won’t even shy away from the unthinkable – like bringing diesels to America.” Please do it. It just might make other manufactures do it too.

  • avatar

    I wonder about VW doing the downmarket? I was in for my Euro Passat service, and looked around. The New American Passats (looks better in person than in pics, yet it’s not a real head turner) were running in the high 20s, with some in the almost mid-30s. Jedi and GTIs are not bargain basement cheap, and the large SUV is in luxury territory.

    [BTW, The not very loved 2.5L 5 is evidently on the way out. I took a test drive, and it is very poor compared to the 2.0 TSI. The sooner it is shelved, the better.]

    I’ve yet to see Audi bottom feed. The A3 is a non-starter for most people, and the A4 picks up at 4 to 5 large above the Passat.

    Diesel is a strange commodity in the US. If demand picks up the price may stabilize a bit due to better supply; diesel is all over the chart.

    Porsche is a different category, altogether. I get the sports cars, but have never understood the appeal of a hot SUV.

    • 0 avatar

      Increased demand will only cause diesel prices to rise world-wide. There is no surplus supply, and increased use of diesel for shipping due to wasteful legislation banning heavy fuel use in favor of low sulfur diesel means that diesel will only get considerably more expensive relative to gasoline going forward.

  • avatar

    I don’t see the problem with a diesel Cayenne. If anything that is a good move for that god awful marque

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. As long as it’s the Cayenne, where’s the problem? Noone’s going to mistake that one for a sports car anyway. BMW is selling diesel engined versions of their much more driver oriented 3 series.

      It would actually be fun if Audi tried capitalizing on their endurance wins, by stuffing some mega diesel into an R8.

  • avatar

    Why bother in the US? Diesel cars in the US are just a sales gimmick at this point (and I like the idea of a diesel engine — just make mine Japanese). The time for diesels was 7-8 years ago when Honda made their new diesel engine (which then got cancelled for US).

    VW should take a lesson from Hyundai if they want growth: Offer 10year/100k warranty. But that would obviously be cost-prohibitive on any VW product….

  • avatar

    Well, they even sell Diesel Panameras in Europe. Seems to be quite OK, regarding the performance figures. 250 hp should be enough. BTW: it’s 25k Euros less than the hybrid. 6.5 liters per 100 km (on paper) sounds OK, too.
    Wait until they launch 911s and Boxters with Diesel engines, as an option.

  • avatar

    I drove a Diesel Volvo wagon for 3 years. Paying $0.50-0.70/gallon premium for Diesel vs. regular pretty much wiped out the efficiency difference.

    I can see it for trucks. For cars, not so much.

  • avatar

    Does anyone else get a sense that VW is turning into GM with too many brands to manage and too much platform sharing?

    My wife was looking at a VW phaeton the other day sitting next to an audi and she honestly couldn’t tell the difference in the cars. they are virtually identical with barely any differences in trim. Only car people would be able to tell the difference without reading the name.

    Here in China where Skoda, VW, Audi, and Porsche are all selling cars and because of how common they are, you realize that the badge engineering going on at VW is as bad as it ever was at GM. So many models are barely different you have to wonder why bother selling them.

    It’s very bad, and from what I can see, it’s only going to get worse. (Gotta love the 1 Audi body style, just change the scale to get a new model)

    • 0 avatar

      If I were a betting man I would bet that VW would succeed where GM failed. VW is a lot more popular all over the world than GM ever was. VW sells its products in diverse places where GM is not even known, or ever heard of.

      No doubt VW’s badge engineering is bad and it may even be worse than GM’s ever was but VW sells in a lot more places than GM could ever hope to penetrate.

      I rented a VW on Wake Island years ago, and another VW on Johnston Atoll before that. Didn’t see ANY US brands on those remote islands.

      But diesels for the US market? A niche at best. I owned a few diesels during my lifetime, among them a new Mercedes 220D, a used Olds Custom Cruiser with GM’s 350 Diesel and a used F350 Banks Turbo-Diesel, and I’m not buying into diesels for my future cars and trucks. I’ll take a gasoline-powered 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2008 Toyota Highlander and 2011 Tundra 5.7L over diesel any day. Works for me.

  • avatar

    The “unthinkable” for Porsche would be to embrace decontenting, receive the obligatory firestorm from critics, and then watch US sales double.

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