Vehicle sales have been
down in just about all
segments of the industry.
Further pressure may well
be provided by Tata Motors
that is nearing the introduction
of the Nano – a five passenger
car that is reported to cost
To read my previous San
Francesco Examiner article
on the Nano visit: Nano by
Tata Motors. Will the Nano
mean trouble for the other
automakers? And what
about the exclusive end of
the automotive universe?
As you know, Porsche is being
taken over by Volkswagen.
Porsche’s former boss,Wendelin
Wiedeking, is out and the new man, Michael Macht, has been the company’s CEO
since July, 2009.
Regarding the automaker’s future sales, Macht believes that Porsche can
sell 150,000 cars per year in the mid to long-term but that new models will be
needed to obtain such sales. Regarding the situation, Macht clarifies: “But we
won’t achieve this with the four models that are existing today. Otherwise, we
would have to significantly increase the number of cars of our current models.
and then we would not be exclusive anymore. Therefore we have to think about
new vehicles.” Porsche’s present vehicle lineup includes the 911 sports coupe,
the Boxster convertible, the Cayman hardtop, the 4-door Cayenne SUV, and
the 4-door Panamera luxury sedan.
Porsche sales reportedly dropped 24 percent to about 75,000 vehicles in the
past fiscal year ending July 2009. The automaker is reported to be vigorously
working on an all-electric powered sports car. However, Macht admits that it
will take some time for such an offering to have the required driving range and
handling equal to the petrol engined sports car. Thus, it might be five or even
10 years before an all-electric Porsche is available!
Concerning Porsche and Volkswagen, Macht says that he is for integration
rather than confrontation. Will Porsche become ‘integrated’ with Volkswagen
to such an extent that future Porsches are not viewed by enthusiasts as ‘Porsches?’
And what about some of the other exclusive automotive names – Ferrari,
Maserati, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Mercedes and the others? It is my opinion
that the marquee automakers need to be committed to remaining exclusive or
risk ending up in murky automotive waters. Ferrari is remaining exclusive
and getting better! What happens to those that are not sure about really being
exclusive remains to be seen.
As with everything in the automotive industry, we will need to keep a real
eye on it!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He
welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: