Porsche Rakes in $17,250 on Every Car It Sells

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
porsche rakes in 17 250 on every car it sells

While still exclusive, Porsche is gradually becoming a more populous and profitable brand. It delivered 238,000 vehicles last year and posted an operating profit of $4.1 billion — a 14-percent increase over 2015’s accounting.

A little back-of-the-envelope math places the per-car profit at roughly $17,250. As a premium automaker, you’d expect it to rake it in on every vehicle sold. However, Porsche doesn’t limit production to the same extent that Ferrari does in order to maintain artificially high prices. And it absolutely decimates other premium brands that offer exclusivity at a higher volume. BMW and Mercedes-Benz both hover at around $5,000 in profit per car.

Porsche seems to have struck an ideal balance. While its per-car profit was actually higher a few years ago — $23,000 in 2013 — it wasn’t making quite as much money overall. At the time, Bentley pulled in roughly 21 grand per unit and sold fewer vehicles overall. Since then, Porsche has shifted some of its focus downmarket, introduced the Macan, expanded its volume, increased income, and still managed to maintain a sweet profit margin on every vehicle sold.

How did it manage that? Basically, the same way Ford wrangles its F-150.

Ford typically brings in $10-14K on every truck it sells — much more than its average passenger vehicle. Like F-Series buyers, Porsche owners are extremely loyal to the brand and are more than happy to spend more to option out their chosen model. Both companies can sell at volume, keep prices up, and maintain a cult-like following because people love what they are buying. Special edition F-Series are marked up thousands of dollars for what is basically some additional badging, chrome details, and higher quality leather.

The same goes for Porsche’s most affordable model, the Macan. According to Bloomberg, the majority of shoppers don’t settle anywhere near its base $47,500 trim. The base crossover comes in either black or white and the second you even consider silver or blue, it’s another $700. Want red? That’s $3,120, and custom colors will more than double that fee.

That’s just the tip of the spear. You could easily tack on ten grand by simply fiddling with the seats and wheels, regardless of the model or trim you’re interested in. Porsche’s optional extras are endless, desirable, and none of them are cheap. Extras on the more expensive models come at an even higher premium. Similar options on a Panamera or Cayenne will run roughly 10 percent more than they would on a Macan, and it just goes up from there.

It’s unsettlingly rewarding to waste an hour on the company’s website, choosing a vehicle and then morphing it into something that expresses your own distinct sensibilities. By the time you’ve decided that you want a metallic black Macan Turbo with RS rims, a beige interior, and the panoramic sunroof, you’ll be staring $82,690 in the face — and the worst part is, you’ll still want the car.

[Image: Porsche]

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  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Mar 21, 2017

    Lots of people at the top of the income and wealth spectrums have lots of money. They use it to distinguish themselves from the people further down. A Porsche with leather air vents and $8k carbon brakes is an awfully good way to do that.

    • S2k Chris S2k Chris on Mar 21, 2017

      Funny you say that, I think of it the other way around. In most places with a lot of money, a Porsche is not particularly flashy, so you can buy one and still be relatively low key about it, and (almost) no one knows if you have a $99k base one or a $200k loaded up one. I think that has some appeal.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Mar 21, 2017

    Porsche does not "wangle" its profits in a similar fashion as Ford's F-150. This statement is inane and not well thought out. What gives the F-150 its greatest advantage is the restriction placed on competitive vehicles. Imports to be precise. Without these constraints on imported pickups you would see a decline in Ford's F-150 profits. Porsche operates in an freer market with no limits placed on competitors.

    • See 3 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 22, 2017

      @DenverMike Too *chicken* to answer? Scamper off into the bush?? Again??? How the internet signal there? Ever been kicked by a 'Roo??

  • Slavuta Civic EX - very competent car. I hate the fact of CVT and small turbo+DI. But it is a good car. Good rear seat. Fix the steering and keep goingBut WRX is just a different planet.
  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?