Just a Matter of Time Now: Porsche Swaps to Quarterly Sales Reporting

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
just a matter of time now porsche swaps to quarterly sales reporting

Porsche Cars North America is the latest automaker to join the expanding list of manufacturers abandoning monthly sales reports in favor of a quarterly format. Detroit has made the changeover entirely, with General Motors swapping to quarterly reports in 2018, only to be followed by Ford and Fiat Chrysler the following year. While Asian manufacturers tend to prefer monthly updates, both Hyundai and Nissan are considering trying quarterly reports within the next twelve months.

As for the German manufacturer, Automotive News cited Porsche as wanting to keep a better eye on the bigger picture. But the plan also runs some risks, especially when some automakers are on the monthly schedule and others report just four times per year.

“The auto market is critical to the U.S. economy, so delays in knowing what’s going on is not good for Wall Street, or Main Street,” Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, told Automotive News.

He also worries that quarterly reports could lead to lower levels of transparency, more speculation and plenty of errors. Still, he expects the trend to continue, especially as more companies join in. “There is not much to be gained by putting your results out there when no one else does,” he said.

Porsche says it’s moving to quarterly reports immediately, with Q1 results due in April. “Monthly sales figures rarely capture the overall picture of how our business is developing,” Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer said on Thursday. “Quarterly reporting better aligns with the Porsche premium brand positioning that is focused on performance and experience.”

[Image: Tishomir/Shutterstock]

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  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Jan 24, 2020

    The companies that went to quarterly reports are those whose sales don't "look as good" as they would like and because they want to monetize this data. In any case, does anyone really think GM or Ford or any carmaker will not know how many cars they sold in January 2020?

  • Redapple Redapple on Jan 24, 2020

    GM started this - no? When is the last time GM started something that the other car companies followed?

  • Mjz Mjz on Jan 24, 2020

    I HATE the quarterly reporting. By the time the data is released, I have lost all interest in it.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 24, 2020

    One wonders if those monthly manufacturer/dealer spiffs and unloads of non-selling models on dealers who are "underperforming" will continue. Or will it go quarterly? If so, no more turning up on a Jan 31 at 6 pm at your dealer in a snowstorm, with the sales manager pacing up and down trying to pad out his monthly sales quota, and thereby getting a great deal.