A First: Macan Is Porsche USA's Best Seller In July 2015

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
a first macan is porsche usas best seller in july 2015

In July 2015, for just the second time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan outsold its bigger brother Cayenne.

Also in July 2015, for the first time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan was the best-selling Porsche in America.

But is Porsche just using the Macan to appeal to Cayenne buyers who want something smaller or less expensive, thereby cannibalizing Cayenne volume in the United States?

This chart aims to answer that question. Here are the numbers behind the red, green, and blue lines.

In the 15-month period leading up to the Macan’s launch, Porsche sold 23,126 Cayennes in the U.S. Alongside the Macan for the last 15 months, Porsche has sold 19,560 Cayennes, a 15-percent decline in a booming utility vehicle market.

Has the Macan eaten into the Cayenne’s share of the Porsche pie? Undoubtedly. But the Macan has more than made up that 15-percent gap. Up from the 23,126 Cayennes sold in the 15 months leading up to the Macan’s launch, Porsche has sold 34,582 Cayennes and Macans in the last 15 months, a 50-percent improvement in Porsche’s utility vehicle total.

More recently, the Cayenne has clawed back some of its lost volume even as the Macan continues to strengthen. Year-over-year, Cayenne sales are up 1 percent over the last three months. And while the Macan climbed to the top of Porsche’s U.S. sales leaderboard in July, the Cayenne is the consistent leader, with 1,693 more sales than the Macan over the first seven months of 2015; 3,624 more than the third-ranked 911.

Speaking of the 911, it was last Porsche USA’s top-selling model in October 2014. As Cayenne volume dropped to a 32-month low and the Macan’s low stock saw sales of the smaller utility fall to its second-lowest total ever, the 911, Porsche’s longest-running model, was the brand’s best seller.

It was short-lived, of course. 911 sales are down 3 percent through the first seven months of 2015. The Macan, on the other hand, achieved its highest U.S. sales total yet (1,537) in April of this year and nearly matched that figure with 1,533 sales in July. More than 1,000 Macans have been sold in the U.S. in each of the last five months, something Porsche hadn’t done in any of the previous nine tries.

As for their standing in the broader SUV/crossover marketplace, the Cayenne and Macan, while huge profit generators for Porsche, aren’t among the most popular premium utilities. (Year-to-date, they rank 66th and 72nd overall, respectively.)

BMW sold 35,162 X5s in the first seven months of 2015, nearly four times the Cayenne’s total. The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is more than twice as common as the Cayenne. Cadillac has sold 19,241 regular and long-wheelbase Escalades already this year. Mercedes-Benz GL sales are up 10 percent to 14,693 units, 1.6 times the Cayenne’s 9474-unit total. The Lexus GX460, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Range Rover, and Audi Q7? They all outsell the Cayenne, as well.

Then there are a wide array of entry-level premium crossovers which routinely outsell the Macan: RDX, Q5, NX, GLK, X3, XC60, MKC. They’re hardly comparable, of course, as their average base price is 30-percent lower than the Macan’s $52,600 MSRP.

The degree of frequency with which Porsches of all stripes are commonly seen on your school run continues to correlate quite directly to your zip code. Yet while the two most popular Porsches remain rare by the high-volume standards of ubiquitous BMW and Mercedes SUVs, they’re clearly driving the brand forward.

With 50 percent of the brand’s volume coming from the Cayenne and Macan, Porsche set an annual U.S. sales record in calendar year 2014. Through the first seven months of 2015, brand-wide sales are ahead of last year’s record-setting pace by 10 percent and the two utilities now collect 58 percent of Porsche’s U.S. volume. For the first time in the brand’s U.S. history, Porsche topped the 5,000 sale mark in April 2015, a period during which the Cayenne and Macan accounted for 63 percent of all Porsche sales.

0.13 percent of the new vehicles sold in America in the first seven months of 2015 were Porsche passenger cars. Porsche’s overall market share, however, increased to 0.30 percent through the end of July, up from 0.28 percent in the same period one year ago, 0.27 percent in 2013, 0.24 percent in 2012, and 0.23 percent in 2011.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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7 of 22 comments
  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on Aug 13, 2015

    I don't get the point of the Macan, it about the same price of the Cayenne but can barely fit anyone or anything into it, why wouldn't you just get a Cayenne? I sat in one awhile back and I found the interior space or lack of it atrocious and I'm not that tall.

    • See 4 previous
    • RideHeight RideHeight on Aug 13, 2015

      @RideHeight "Volkswagen AG, which is itself majority-owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE." I think you're blinded by CUV-hate. I'm like that about certain groups of people.

  • Reclusive_in_nature Reclusive_in_nature on Aug 13, 2015

    I don't know why, but I can't resist the urge to point my fingers at all the Porsche "purists" and laugh and laugh and laugh...

  • Arthur Dailey Ford was on a roll with these large cars. The 'aircraft' inspired instrument 'pod' for the driver rather than the 'flat' instrument panel. Note that this vehicle does not have the clock. The hands and numbers are missing. Having the radio controls on the left side of the driver could however be infuriating. Although I admire pop-up/hideaway headlights, Ford's vacuum powered system was indeed an issue. If I left my '78 T-Bird parked for more than about 12 hours, there was a good chance that when I returned the headlight covers had retracted. The first few times this happened it gave me a 'start' as I feared that I may have left the lights on and drained the battery.
  • Jeff S Still a nice car and I remember these very well especially in this shade of green. The headlights were vacuum controlled. I always liked the 67 thru 72 LTDs after that I found them bloated. Had a friend in college with a 2 door 71 LTD which I drove a couple of times it was a nice car.
  • John H Last week after 83 days, dealership said mine needs new engine now. They found metal in oil. Potential 8 to 9 month wait.
  • Dukeisduke An aunt and uncle of mine traded their '70 T-Bird (Beakbird) for a brand-new dark metallic green '75 LTD two-door, fully loaded. My uncle hated seat belts, so the first time I saw the car (it was so new that the '75 models had just landed at the dealerships) he proudly showed me how he'd pulled the front seat belts all the way out of their retractors, and cut the webbing with a razor blade(!).Just a year later, they traded it in for a new '76 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (they had owned a couple of Imperials in the '60s), and I imagine the Cadillac dealer took a chunk out to the trade-in, to get the front seat belts replaced.
  • CaddyDaddy Lease fodder that in 6 years will be on the 3rd owner in a poverty bound aspirational individual's backyard in a sub par neighborhood sinking into the dirt. The lending bank will not even want to repossess and take possession of this boat anchor of a toxic waste dump. This proves that EVs are not even close to being ready for prime time (let's not even talk about electrical infrastructure). EVs only exist in wildly expensive virtue signaling status-mobiles. FAIL! I know this is a Hybrid, but it's a Merc., so it will quickly die after the warranty. Show me a practical EV for the masses and I'll listen. At this time, Hybrids are about the way to go for most needing basic transportation.