Porsche AG has reached a co-operative agreement with Pakistani vehicle importer Autotechnik Pvt. Ltd. and is preparing to launch the brand there next year.

The first Porsche centre in the country will be opened in Lahore in the first quarter of 2006, with two further outlets in Islamabad and Karachi set to open shortly afterwards.

"Pakistan is a very interesting market with potential for the future that we intend to exploit in the years to come," said Deesch Papke, managing director of the Dubai-based regional sales subsidiary Porsche Middle East and Africa.

The Stuttgart sports car manufacturer has planned a growth strategy focused particularly on entering new markets. In the last decade it has increased its markets from 40 to about 90 countries and launched the brand in neighbouring India a year ago.

Porsche Middle East and Africa is the group's fifth-largest sales company worldwide and is active in 15 countries from Saudi Arabia to South Africa.

In the 2004/05 financial year, over 3,800 vehicles were sold in these regions, a 37% increase versus the previous year. The majority of Middle East customers opt for the Cayenne SUV, a model which, ironically, was much criticised at launch several years ago by fans of the company's traditional sports car model lines.