Porsche has said that turnover in the four months to the end of November will be around EUR2bn, some 18% below that achieved in the same period last year, as it painted a gloomy picture for sales prospects in 2009.
It says sales units in that 4-month period are 25,200 versus 30,700 last year.
The firm warned that the sales outlook is clouded by considerable uncertainties concerning its largest market – the US.
It said that despite softer demand it would resist discounting and would realign production accordingly.
Porsche announced that it suspended production at its main Zuffenhausen plant on 21 November, while it also said there would be seven more one-day stoppages before the end of January.
Porsche said that the business year 2007/08 was the most successful year ever in its 60-year history, with group profit before taxes increasing by 46% to EUR8.569bn.
The jump in profit was due to ‘special influences in connection with the holdings in Volkswagen ‘ it admitted. Corrected for special effects from hedging operations, profit was around one billion euros.
The firm noted that increased development costs were incurred on the upcoming Panamera series, for the hybrid drive in the Cayenne and for more efficient engines.
AFP reported that Porsche has pushed back its planned takeover of Volkswagen.
“In view of the current economic climate it is more and more unlikely that we will achieve the goal this year” of raising its stake in VW from the current 42.6 percent to more than half, Porsche chief Wendelin Wiedeking said.
“Our aim remains to increase our stake to over 50% as quickly as possible. But we have always said that we would not do anything unreasonable,” he told a news conference in Stuttgart.
The company has also announced for the first time that it no longer forecasts that this year’s sales total for the financial year (which for Porsche ends on 31 July) will match the 2007/08 total of 98,652 units. Sales of the 911 have been particularly slow in the United States, which has also historically been the model’s biggest market.
IHS Global Insight forecasts that there will be a 41% y/y slump in sales of the model in the United States this year to 8,858 units, and the final figure may be even worse as the 911 has experienced some catastrophic U.S. sales numbers in recent months.
The revised version of the current 997-series 911 was rolled out across Europe and the United States in the second half of 2008 and this should provide a marginal boost for sales, as should the launch of the new Panamera in the fourth quarter of 2009. However, these factors aside, the short-term outlook for Porsche’s sales is far from positive, GI says.