Porsche’s SUVs sales are surpassing by a mile the demand for its 911 sport car on the Chinese market, but the company wants to shift the balance somehow.
Who does not want an iconic 911? Who would choose a super sport car over an SUV? Who would prefer a higher seating position on a chunky car over a low emblematic rider? It seems like Porsche’s Chinese customers will do, as they are for a different opinion. Brand’s SUVs are a massive hit over there, as they count for about three-quarters of its sales in the country, while the 911 sport car has to settle standing in the sales shadow of the bigger car. This unusual position is not to the liking of newly appointed as head of Porsche China, Franz Jung, who wants to put the lights on 911 by organizing the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series and other events to lure racing enthusiasts. The company will also open a driving experience center near the Shanghai Formula One track to give a taste to customers what is really like to take a 911 to the extreme.
“The 911 is the DNA of the Porsche brand,” Jung said. “It is our flagship, and we have a strong belief that it’s possible to build more on this segment in the future, but it takes time,” he added. “It is necessary to do because we do not want to be seen only as an SUV brand.” But Porsche is a SUV marque in China, with half of its sales in the country arise from Macan’s model demand. By contrast, in Germany, 911 was its top seller this year through September, while in the US, its sports car models account for about one-third of deliveries. “From the brand image point of view, it is good for the company,” said Mavis Zhu, a Shanghai-based analyst at LMC Automotive. “But the market in China for sports car is quite limited, so the contribution from sports car sales won’t be too high.” Even if Porsche wants a shift in the market, it has to comply with the demand, and the company will introduce an entry-level edition Cayenne SUV next year.