By on November 10, 2014

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo whiteWhat was once the norm is now so rare that October 2014’s results are bizarrely backwards.

The 911 was Porsche’s best-selling model in the United States in October 2014. Stop the presses. Hold the cheese. Alert the medic. Release the proverbial hounds.

The 911 is by all accounts a sports car, even if it’s softer and plusher and more hushed and more PDK’d than ever before. Indeed, the 911 is not an SUV, the type of vehicle which normally dominates Porsche’s sales charts.

Nevertheless, we can’t expect to see the 911 riding high atop the Porsche leaderboard for long. October’s results for the Cayenne came, Porsche says, “ahead of the introduction of the comprehensively revised 2015 model which goes on sale in November.” Inventory was low; customers want the newer model; the Macan stands in the way for some consumers.

But Porsche fans and crossover haters and rear-engine aficionados can still point to October 2014 as a month in which American consumers registered more new 911s than any other Porsche. With 974 sales, it was the 911’s third month above 900 units this year and the second-best month of 2014. October marked the end of a four-month growth period in which 911 volume shot up 22%.

On an annual basis, surpassing 2013’s 911 sales performance won’t be easy. The 911 is on pace to do so, rising 6% through ten months. But 911 volume took off in November of last year, surging to the model’s best month ever with 1368 sales. At the current rate, Porsche should sell around 10,500 911s this year, a slight increase compared with last year.

Back to October more specifically, an increase in Boxster volume, nothing more than a slight decrease from the Cayman, and five more 918 Spyder sales meant Porsche’s sports cars accounted for 45.8% of brand-wide sales.

The Cayenne, suddenly (and temporarily) down 57% to 712 units, and the Macan, at 741 sales, generated 39.6% of Porsche USA volume. The Panamera was up 6% to 533 units, 14.5% of Porsche’s 3667-unit total.

The sports car group was up from 39.1% one year ago; the SUVs were down from 46.9%.

As for rivals, the 911’s direct opponents are difficult to define, so broad is its range. Chevrolet sold 2959 Corvettes in October, yes, but the all-American is a much more affordable car. BMW’s 6-Series range, sedan included, was down 20% to 740. Mercedes-Benz SL sales fell 33% to 347. Jaguar sold 342 F-Types, a 3% drop. BMw sold 204 i8s. Nissan sold 140 GT-Rs, a 26% jump. Dodge Viper volume was up 16% to 80. Audi R8 sales slid 38% to 40 units.

This sterling performance from the brand’s most iconic nameplate and its two-seat cohorts is not in keeping with conventional outcomes, of course. Not since February 2012, when Porsche said the Cayenne’s 30% drop to just 657 units related to, “limited supply and low dealer inventory,” has the 911 or any non-SUV Porsche been the brand’s top seller.

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12 Comments on “The 911, Not An SUV, Was Porsche’s Best-Selling Model In October 2014...”

  • avatar

    This news contradicts my opinion that Porsche has devolved into a seller of luxurious, less reliable Jeeps, and so I will pretend it does not exist.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s hard to lust after these things when they go for $120 130 k for a non turbo car. That performance or very close can be had now for $40-60k. I still want one very badly at least once in this life time.

      • 0 avatar

        Adjusted for inflation, 911 prices have remained about flat or are actually cheaper than they were in the past

        And I can buy a $5000 Eclipse GSX, put another $20000 of work in it and wash anything this side of a GT2. 911s have never been the fastest cars out; looking at them from that POV is missing the point. Barring the Cayman/Boxster, you won’t find another RWD car with over 300HP and under 3100 lbs for example. That might not be a mag headline stat but it’s very telling of the 911’s driving experience. There is nothing like a 911 and no mag racing specs can replace that.

  • avatar

    It probably helps that there are, like, 30 variants of the 911.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I’ve always loved Porsches, but I must admit my ardor is waning. I have great respect for the 911, but it’s hard for me to accept the idea of a rear engined car at this point in engineering history.

    If I were in the market for this priced sports car (I’m not and probably never will be) I’d have to give the Audi R8 a close look.

    Quite frankly, it is utterly preposterous that both Porsche and Audi charge extra for things like metallic paint, which comes standard on most subcompacts.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      One needs to drive one first.
      All engine locations have upsides and downsides. Porsche has very selectively minimized the downsides to their rear engine design, and have made large strides in pushing the mass farther forward (longer wheelbases, closer to axle line). This coupled with modern safety nets produce a car that is, frankly, very nice to drive and very capable.

      I’ve driven all kinds. On the street, the rear weight bias of the 911 makes it much easier to rotate at lower speeds, which can result in a drive that is more fun than other cars with similar performance levels. It also has insane grip levels for pushing power out a turn.
      Front engine cars tend to be more stable, but this isn’t always the case and they can be finicky (see Z06)
      Mid engine cars are supposedly the holy grail. But they too can range from stable easy drifters (elise) to sketchy due to their tendency to rotate too quickly (for this mortal driver)

      Long story short. Forget the paper physics and tale swapping stories journalist love to tell. Drive a 911. Drive its competitors. Buy the one that you like best.

  • avatar

    Why are you folks complaining about how expensive Porsches are? It’s been that way forever.

  • avatar

    Why is the dip in Cayenne sales expected to be temporary? The Macan offers a cheaper option to shameless poseurs, so one might assume it will continue to eat the Cayenne’s lunch.

  • avatar

    As a current 911 owner, all I can say is fantastic.

  • avatar

    While it’s alarming that the 911 is quickly leaving the 5-digit price realm, Caymans and Boxsters still start at low-50s/high-40s, just as they did a decade ago. Cayenne and Panamera prices go in my right ear and out the left. All is well.

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