More Evidence That The Macan Is Taking Over Porsche

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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more evidence that the macan is taking over porsche

You’ve closely tracked the Porsche Cayenne’s success by scanning parking lots outside fancy restaurants. You understand that the Cayenne’s omnipresence in Orange County translates directly to the mere presence of a 918 Spyder in Porsche’s lineup, which is important to you, the owner of a Buick Verano Turbo, just like every other TTAC reader.

As a result, you know that the Macan is simply the next rung on Porsche’s ladder. Oh, it’s the lesser of the two SUVs; smaller in size and price and probably status, too. But this is the vehicle which moves Porsche from niche luxury player closer to the mainstream premium arena. Three sports cars won’t do it, not even with the addition of an SUV and a massive four-door hatchback.

Thanks in part to an additional 3947 Macan sales in the U.S. over the last four months, Porsche USA has sold 31,759 total vehicles through the first eight months of 2014. This moves Porsche’s market share up to 0.284% from 0.268% a year ago.

An incremental improvement? Most definitely, but the rate of Porsche’s improvement is in excess of what the overall market is averaging. Total new vehicle sales are up 5% in the United States in 2014. Porsche USA volume is up 12%.

The figure achieved by the Macan in its first month on the market, when 1263 were sold, was both representative of some pent-up demand and Porsche’s ability to meet that demand, if only at first. But it was also a tell-tale that the Macan, as if there was ever any doubt, was not another low-volume Porsche sports car. (Porsche sold 312 Caymans in May; 411 Boxsters.)

August told another, different story. The Panamera’s 3945 year-to-date sales represent a 14% year-over-year improvement for the brand’s people-carrying passenger car. Yet the Macan has generated more sales activity for Porsche in the last four months than the Panamera has over the last eight. That the Macan can quickly muster more sales in a shorter period than the Boxster or Cayman is no surprise. Yet in August, the Macan’s 969 U.S. sales nearly matched the 1056-unit total achieved by the Boxster, Cayman, and Panamera combined.

Now, the Panamera is not exactly America’s favourite car. Mercedes-Benz sold 1855 S-Classes and 1150 CLS-Class sedans last month. The Lexus LS, Audi A7, BMW 5-Series, BMW 6-Series, and Audi A8 were just a few of the other high-end premium brand cars which found more new customers than the Panamera.

But from a purely inward-looking Porsche perspective, the Macan’s early-onset success and the Panamera’s inability to keep up speaks to the current state of the automotive industry. Crossover tops car. Porsche USA’s Panamera volume met a monthly peak in April 2012, when 868 were sold. The Macan has surpassed that peak in three of its four months on the market. Yes, it’s been helped along by a much lower sticker price than the Panamera, but also by its bodystyle.

This isn’t just something we’re seeing at Porsche, nor is it a trend we see only with oddly-styled large hatchbacks and especially sporty small crossovers. By recent standards, Mercedes-Benz USA will report particularly strong S-Class sales this year, but the current pace suggests at least a 25% decline compared with 2006 levels. Yes, 2006, the year Mercedes-Benz USA sold their first 18,776 GLs to go along with nearly 31,000 S-Classes. Over the last three years, Mercedes-Benz has averaged 27,000 GL sales per year in the U.S., the kind of number they haven’t achieved with the S-Class since 2007.

BMW will sell less than half the number of 7-Series sedans this year than they did in 2003 while likely selling close to 110,000 total SAVs, around 2.5 times the number of X5s sold in 2003. Tata’s JLR? 60% of Jaguar-Land Rover’s volume in 2002 was Jaguar-derived, now it’s 77% Land Rover.

No matter which data point you use, it’s remarkably easy to see that the Macan went from non-existence to Porsche USA’s deuteragonist in the matter of one summer. It’s perhaps easier to see that big luxury cars are quickly being pushed to the sidelines, while the Macan and its more common premium cohorts move in on their territory.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Marjanmm Marjanmm on Sep 22, 2014

    " Total new vehicle sales are up 5% in the United States in 2014. Porsche USA volume is up 12%." But how much are the luxury car sales up? Since the total sales this year will be on the pre recession levels, can you do an article comparing luxury sales in US before the recession and this year? I suspect it may have increased more relative to non luxury makes.

  • Robc123 Robc123 on Sep 22, 2014

    It must be difficult for car manufacturers to figure out what people want. Go by this crowd here and its all manuals, and 2 door sports cars and DIY. Or brown hot rodded euro station wagons. Whereas what actually sells is automatic, giant, bloated, plastic safe SUVs with zero driving feel for a demographic that is supposed to be shrinking (families). Most people buy and like shit trucks, shit driving experience, and when a "premium" manufacturer makes bloated shit trucks then they get sucked into that huge market and get to also trade off their name. All this stuff is 3 yr leases its not meant for 5-10 yr ownership.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.