The 911, Not An SUV, Was Porsche's Best-Selling Model In October 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

What 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.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Energetik9 Energetik9 on Nov 10, 2014

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

  • Chan Chan on Nov 10, 2014

    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.

  • Teddyc73 As I asked earlier under another article, when did "segment" or "class" become "space"? Does using that term make one feel more sophisticated? If GM's products in other segments...I mean "space" is more profitable then sedans then why shouldn't they discontinue it.
  • Robert Absolutely!!! I hate SUV's , I like the better gas milage and better ride and better handling!! Can't take a SUV 55mph into a highway exit ramp! I can in my Malibu and there's more than enough room for 5 and trunk is plenty big enough for me!
  • Teddyc73 Since when did automakers or car companies become "OEM". Probably about the same time "segment" or "class" became "space". I wish there were more sedans. I would like an American sedan. However, as others have stated, if they don't sell in large enough quantities to be profitable the automakers...I mean, "OEMs" aren't going to build them. It's simple business.
  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.