Porsche The Luxury Automaker To Beat This Year In China

Sales In China Rose 28.2 Percent Last Year To 31,205 Units

The Macan is expected to prove extremely popular when it debuts in China next year

Coming off a successful 2012 in which the German automaker saw sales rise 28 percent to 31,205 units, Porsche plans to dig even deeper into the China market this year, releasing more models and more aggressively taking on competitors even as others take a wait-and-see approach. While Porsche lags behind fellow countrymen Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of total China sales, its strong position in the SUV market, via its wildly popular Cayenne, and the popularity of its four-door Panamera has the brand on stable footing.

Unlike other foreign auto brands that manufacture within China with domestic joint venture partners, Porsche has every intention of sticking to its import-only policy, a factor that has continually driven Chinese sales despite a significant impact on pricing.

In the next two years, rather than pushing lower-level models in China, it appears that Porsche plans to take even more top-of-the-line offerings to the market, as it intensifies its expansion efforts. By the end of next year, Porsche will likely double its China dealership network from 49 to 95, and as Bloomberg noted this week, plans to start selling its Macan compact SUVs and a US$2.2 million supercar in China in the second half of 2014. Via Bloomberg:

“The Macan will have a significant volume impact,” said [Helmut Broeker, head of China operations], who was attending a dealership opening in the eastern China city of Nantong. “I’m very confident that when this car has been fully launched in the full year, China will be the number one market.”

The new products are part of Porsche’s plans to make China the company’s biggest market by 2014. Porsche has benefited from a surge in demand for SUVs — the fastest-growing segment in China’s auto market — with the Cayenne accounting for about 65 percent of the company’s deliveries in the country.

With its smaller SUV and 918 Spyder Hybrid supercar set to hit roads in China in 2014, around 20 dealerships slated to open doors nationwide, and new editions of the Panamera and Cayman rolling out in the country in 2013, Porsche is likely the automaker to beat this year. Considering it faces even stiffer competition from Mercedes-Benz, which has made China a top priority, we’ll be curious to see how the battle for China’s luxury auto buyer unfolds in the year ahead between these two German giants in particular.


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