GENEVA SHOW: Porsche unit boss more optimistic
Porsche GB boss Andy Goss reckons the company could buck the recession even though sales of luxury and sports cars are being hard hit.
This will be product led with the Geneva launch of the 911 GT3 adding to an increasingly rejuvenated range which over the past few months has seen the launch of the new generation 911 and the Cayman plus a new diesel engine for the large Cayenne SUV.
Goss said: "We will also have our first four-door model, the Panamera, coming later in the year but I think one of the most significant model is the Cayenne diesel which we have just launched in the UK.
"The luxury 4x4 [SUV] segment is dominated by diesels which account for 86% of all sales - and we haven't had one until now. The early signs are very encouraging. We have had 460 bookings for 24-hour test drives in the Cayenne diesel and that's well ahead of the 250 we were expecting."
Goss said that Porsche dealers in the UK have been reporting increased showroom activity since January and he admits to being "less pessimistic than I was. The business environment seems to have stabilised and I expect to see an upturn in business in the spring."
Goss added the Panamera would give the company access to a new set of customers, slightly older than current 911 buyers, who currently drive cars such as the Maserati Quattroporte, BMW 7-series or Jaguars.
The 911 GT3 would go on sale next autumn with an engine uprated from 3.6- to 3.8-litres producing 435bhp, 20 bhp more than the outgoing model.