High SUV Sales: Good for Porsche

Porsche is selling all the Macans it can make. By last September, after just four months on the U.S. market, the Macan had already outpaced those of the Panamera sedan (itself up 13.5%).

“The successful launch of the Macan has buoyed our brand,” said Bernhard Maier, executive board member of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG .

And the revamped version Cayenne is selling well in China, with demand there up by a quarter, and deliveries also up 19% in Europe and 11% in the U.S.

Contrary to what some Porsche “purists” might think, that’s a good thing.

If Porsche SUVs drove like farm tractors, there might be room for complaint, but both the Cayenne and Macan are renowned for being much sportier than other luxury SUVs. You don’t get rave reviews for precise engineering and top scores in the JD Power Initial Quality Survey for not delivering top-quality vehicles across the board.

Higher profits also mean that Porsche has more money to build plenty of variants of its famous sports cars. (Let’s face it, the Cayman GT4 is not exactly a high-volume vehicle.) To date there are 20 different Porsche 911s. All those different models give customers nearly unlimited choices, but makes production more complex, and that costs money. Yes, Porsche needs to make money in order to remain profitable.

Building and selling SUVs may be heresy to Porsche purists, but those same purists are also the ones who have been clamoring for vehicles like the 911 Targa and the Cayman GT4. Porsche wants to continue pumping out low-volume sports coupes and sports sedans, and it can finance their development by making SUVs. Let people buy all the Macans they can get their hands on, and let Porsche keep doing what it’s doing.

It might not be the most common opinion, especially among car enthusiasts, but as long as Porsche keeps making awesome sports cars like the Cayman GT4, than high Macan sales are a great thing. Now, if Porsche starts cutting back on production of those same great sports cars in order to build more SUVs, then there will be a problem. Until then, I say Porsche should keep selling Macans as fast as it can build them.

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