Porsche Has an Identity Crisis Amid Its SUV Success – Businessweek

Porsche Cayenne S

After veering away from tradition with models like the Cayenne SUV, which now accounts for about half its profits, Porsche is expanding its stable of purebred sports cars in a bid to shore up its reputation. The 918 Spyder, an $845,000 limited-run hybrid supercar, which will be Porsche’s most expensive model ever when deliveries start next year, may be followed by a new $250,000 model to take on superrich toys such as the Ferrari 458 Italia or McLaren MP4-12C. Müller has also tabled plans for a roadster cheaper than its $49,500 entry-level Boxster. “We always have been and still are a sports car company,” Müller says. “When there’s a model that’s not directly a sports car, it should be balanced by a pure sports car model in order to maintain our heritage.”

Retaining Porsche’s vaunted image is crucial because that’s what allows it to command some of the fattest profit margins in the auto industry. As the company has broadened its product line, however, the brand’s allure has taken a knock among purists. In 2002, Porsche introduced the Cayenne, which shares its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7. It followed up in 2009 with the Panamera, a four-door cruiser. The shift to more practical models will accelerate in 2014, when Porsche rolls out the Macan, a compact SUV which will use the same platform as the Audi Q5.

“Porsche was the purest of brands,” says Rick Ratliff, a retired media consultant from Ann Arbor, Mich., who until recently drove a Boxster roadster and ran a blog called Porscheophile. After the Cayenne and the Panamera, Porsche “sort of lost its luster. The new SUV seems like yet another attempt to take a wonderful brand and cloud it.”

via Porsche Has an Identity Crisis Amid Its SUV Success – Businessweek.

Strange Random Expensive Car Quote:

“No, no, no. There’s no such thing as cheap and cheerful. It’s cheap and nasty & expensive and cheerful.” ― Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear, BBC TV

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Posted on July 7, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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