By on February 8, 2022

While it may not be on the cusp of supplanting Toyota in terms of sales, the Porsche brand has enjoyed relatively consistent growth since 2009. Despite 2020 representing a poor sales year for just about everyone who wasn’t producing vaccines, the German manufacturer weathered the storm better than most and came back to break a few records the following year.

By the end of 2021, Porsche had sold nearly 302,000 vehicles globally. It also managed to break its previous sales records in China and the United States. Considering that global production volumes have remained suppressed by supply chain problems, it was an impressive accomplishment. However, Detlev von Platen, Executive Board Member Sales & Marketing at Porsche AG, believes the automaker can still outdo itself in 2022. 

Speaking with Automobilwoche, von Platen indicated the 40,000-person company would be seeking to hire another 400 pairs of hands to help with elevated demand. With the right kind of people and a little luck, he suggested this year could be the best the company has ever had. But, even if the stars fail to align perfectly, von Platen isn’t worried about volume.

“When I look at the current orders, I’m confident for 2022. Growth in sales could reach a similarly high level this year as in 2021,” he told the outlet, adding that wait times certain on models had reached 12 months.

Porsche spent decades as a low-volume automaker specializing in high-performance vehicles. But it has historically made attempts to improve its volume, often resulting in short-term successes that foreshadow an evaporating market share.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a collapse. Minus the previous recession, sailing has been relatively smooth ever since the automaker launched the Porsche Cayenne in 2002. The company has since moved into manufacturing fewer sports coupes to focus on the Panamera sedan and Macan crossover, both of which outsell the iconic 911 by huge margins. Though it would be a lie to suggest that deliveries of the brand’s two-door options were poor.

Porsche’s quest for volume has also been helped by its merger with Volkswagen, which offered access to its vast manufacturing capabilities and technology borrowed from the Audi brand. In fact, Porsche’s best-selling model (the Macan) shares a platform with the Audi Q5 while the larger Cayenne overlaps with the Q7.

But the company has committed itself, along with the rest of Volkswagen Group, to swiftly transition into selling EVs. While this remains a dangerous proposal if those products fail to deliver, sales of the Porsche Taycan doubled in 2021 (vs 2020) and now rival 911 volumes in markets where they’re sold together. The automaker is planning to launch an electrified Macan in 2023, followed by battery-powered versions of the 718 Boxster and Cayman.

But it remains to be seen if the adoption rate of EVs will keep pace with Porsche’s plan to implement them. Despite the electric segment enjoying some healthy growth of its own, EVs still only represent 3 percent of the total market. With Porsche having grown quite a bit over the last two decades and plans to dive headlong back into motorsport, it needs to figure out how to sell alternative-energy vehicles without nuking volume or alienating its customer base in the short term.

[Image: Tishomir/Shutterstock]

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18 Comments on “Porsche Becoming Volume Brand...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “But it remains to be seen if the adoption rate of EVs will keep pace with Porsche’s plan to implement them.”

    My take:
    “But it remains to be seen if Porsche’s plan to implement EVs will keep pace with their adoption rate.”

    I don’t know if it’s actually a good idea for Porsche to become a volume brand, but at 1/3 the volume of Tesla, Porsche will likely remain a niche player.

    Yes, they will fully leverage the VAG EV platform tech, but the company still has to customize the product as a Porsche. That will be hard to do in lower volumes.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Using VAG platforms will help.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        They also own part of Bugatti-Rimac. Access to Rimacs Independent Wheel Drive tech is important too. Even on volume vehicles. Porsche is also going to use their own PPE platform rather than VWs MEB.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I’ve not driven the Taycan and generally dislike Porsche’s styling outside of the 718, Panamera wagon, and 911. But I’ve never gotten inside of any modern Porsche and disliked it. I feel pretty confident the company is up to the task but I don’t know if I would say the same about VW’s EV tech. The only exciting electric they’ve managed to produce is the ID R and it’s not for sale.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Just rebadge some VWs and Skodas.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      No, they’re going to use their own PPE platform which is probably more Bugatti-Rimac than it is VW.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        They are going to use a Bugatti platform for a $60K electric Macan?

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          No, but firmware from the drive system. Smaller motors of course. That’s just speculation on my part though.

          I do suspect they might be getting other tech from them though.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Here’s the ownership structure of Rimac Group. Porsche bought into them for the EV technology. That’s why they’re using PPE rather than VWs platform.

            https://www.rimac-group.com/images/structure.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m certain they’ll take advantage for their higher end and halo stuff but if there’s more Rimac than VW in the EV Macan I’ll buy you a cappuccino.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @ajila Rimac’s supercars are just technology testbeds and demonstrators for their main business, which is to design components for mainstream vehicles. They design drive units and controllers etc. Not only Porsche, but you’ll probably see some of their designs and patents used in Hyundai/Kia vehicles as well. Porsche, Hyundai, and Kia bought into them for a reason, and it was because they thought they could make money building hyper/supercars. They want access to those patents.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Coming soon, the Porsche Cimmaron.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d say Porsche has done a very good job of differentiating their models from the “lesser” VAG stuff it’s based on.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        *insert Larry David gif*

        I don’t think I’d agree with “very good”. It’s more convincing than something like Armada to QX80 but IMO it isn’t any better than Escape to Corsair.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not an expert but I suspect if the late Herr Piëch still had anything to say, the Porsche marque would not seek to become a volume brand. The odd thing about doing so is VAG already has acquired so many brands, how many do you need to sell at a volume? Panamera turned out to work, Cayenne as well, how many more shots do you want to take until Cimmaron is de facto achieved?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Porsche is positioned brilliantly. They’re more expensive and exclusive than the other Germans but still well within reach for normal rich people (who have been getting somewhat richer over time). They convey an image of success but not of conspicuous consumption (unlike, say, a Bentley or Aston). They’ve figured out that they can get hundreds of millions of positive press coverage by continuing to evolve their existing low-volume sports cars, while making actual operational profits from well-reworked Audi and VW vehicles. Overall just a great business story over the past 15 years or so.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    An electric Macan, if they give it decent range, will cost over $100K. It’s hard to get excited about cars in that price range.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    In 1971 I was perusing the brochure for 911s at the Porsche dealership in Salt Lake City. One of the pages in the brochure depicted the hand-crafted care in building “your new 911” with a car on a rotisserie having undercoating brush-applied by a white coated technician at their factory. These days that factory must have a large number of brush-toting undercoating robots working on a ferris wheel of rotisseries to deal with being a volume brand. What a world. EDIT: I ended up passing on the 911 and purchased a ’68 912. I wonder if 912s were hand-crafted and brush coated?

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