2011 Chevy Equinox Cargurus
For generations, Porsche has been accepted to its loyal admirers as a cast with alluringly advised and engineered sports cars.
Specialty cartage like the tiny-but-powerful 911 action auto accept been axial to its identity.
But in contempo years, the Volkswagen Group affluence cast has adapted itself into a maker of action account cartage brand with lower prices and bigger sales.
Yes, Porsche still sells cars but they’ve taken a backseat to SUVs in agreement of sales.
In 2019, SUVs fabricated up added than two-thirds of Porsche’s U.S. sales, up from beneath than one-third in 2010. The brand’s Macan SUV starts at $50,900, while the least big-ticket adaptation of its Cayenne SUV is $66,800. Both are decidedly cheaper than the 911, which has a starting amount of $97,400. The brand’s sports cars are priced college abundantly because of their exceptional materials, able-bodied powertrains and design.
By comparison, boilerplate SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Edge accept starting prices of $23,800 and $31,100, respectively.
Porsche’s alteration from majority cars to majority SUVs has been a arbiter archetype of how to capitalize on the nation’s SUV bang after alienating agog barter who admire ultra-fast, ultra-luxury sports cars, including the Porsche Boxster and Panamera. The about-face has additionally bolstered all-embracing Porsche sales, which accept added than angled from 29,023 cartage in 2011 to 61,568 in 2019.
But there was never a agreement of success.
“When we appear the plan that Porsche would advance and advertise an SUV, abnormally the amount fan base, they couldn’t accept it,” said Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, in an interview. “They say, ‘That’s not my cast anymore.’ So it’s tough. You accept to argue people.”
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Consider them convinced.
In 2019, Porsche had its best SUV sales year ever. The brand’s total SUV sales rose 22% from 2018 to 41,668.
Porsche’s first- and second-best-selling cartage in 2019 were SUVs by a longshot. The Macan was No. 1 with sales of 22,667 vehicles, while the Cayenne was No. 2 with sales of 19,001. The brand’s accustomed car in 2019 was the 911 with 9,265 cartage sold.
This photo provided by Porsche shows the 2019 Porsche Cayenne that was apparent at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show. Fully redesigned for the 2019 archetypal year, the new Cayenne appearance a lighter chassis, added able engines and a revised interior. (Courtesy of Porsche Cars North America Inc. via AP) (Photo: AP)
Baltimore citizen Mia Walsh drives a Porsche Cayman at the racetrack for fun. But her ancestors vehicle, the Cayenne, has been a absolute fit as a ample but adventurous agent for runs to Sam’s Club and trips about boondocks with her kids. She is on her third Cayenne.
“You may get wooed into the Porsche cast with a adventurous 911 and again your activity progresses and you’ve got a ancestors and a wife and kids now, and you appetite to abide with the affection of the Porsche cast and the ability of the Porsche brand, so you drift into an SUV,” Walsh said.
Unlike boilerplate brands like Hyundai and Kia, which focused on cars and accept had to comedy catch-up on SUVs as commuter car sales plummeted in contempo years, Porsche was advanced of the curve.
When the aggregation launched its aboriginal SUV, the Cayenne, in 2003, there was “lots of handwringing and accoutrements actuality up about how the cast had absent its way and awash its body and was never activity to be the same,” said Karl Brauer, controlling administrator of Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
Walsh accustomed there was an “outcry” amid some enthusiasts who didn’t embrace the change from the beginning.
“There’s bodies who are the traditionalists who can’t see that in adjustment to be financially stable, manufacturers charge to acclimatize to the bazaar and acclimatize to approaching trends,” said Walsh, who additionally serves as admiral of the Porsche Club of America’s affiliate in the Potomac region.
But the aggregation overcame that skepticism with outstanding engineering in its SUVs, aloof like its cars, analysts said.
“Engineering attention aloof oozes out of” Porsche vehicles,” Brauer said. “You can aloof feel how able-bodied fabricated it is.”
A absolute redesign of the Cayenne has helped ammunition the billow in the aftermost two years. Debuted for the 2018 archetypal year, the redesigned Cayenne still has the admeasurement of an SUV, but it looks and feels like a developed adaptation of the 911, according to car reviewers at the analysis armpit Edmunds.
“Our access consistently was that whatever we body in whatever articulation we’re alive in, it consistently has to be a Porsche – it consistently has to be the sportiest car in the segment,” Zellmer said.
To do so, the cast transferred engineers amenable for the accepted Carrera GT mid-engine sports car in the 2000s to body its aboriginal SUV from the arena up, Zellmer said.
And back the Macan came about, Porsche didn’t abstain the blazon of adventurous qualities that it would use in its achievement cars, allotment to accommodate flourishes like bowl brakes and a accepted dual-clutch transmission.
“Whenever Porsche launches a vehicle, it has that Porsche DNA,” said George Augustaitis, administrator of automotive and bread-and-butter analytics at car-shopping armpit CarGurus. “So whether you’re active a Cayenne or a Macan, a Cayman, a Boxster, a 911, a Panamera, whatever, they all accept this activity back you alpha the engine, back you about-face the wheel, back you hit the brakes, back you hit the accelerator, it drives like a Porsche.”
The catechism now is how far will Porsche go?
“They’ve done an absurd job architecture their SUVs. We ambition they’d aftermath more,” said Jeff Dyke, admiral of Sonic Automotive, which operates bristles Porsche franchises and is one of the better banker companies in the country. “We can’t accumulate them on the shelf.”
There are accessible opportunities for added SUVs, conceivably best conspicuously in the three-row SUV segment, area models like General Motors’ Cadillac Escalade and Ford Motor’s Lincoln Navigator currently dominate.
Zellmer said Porsche “would accept problems” entering a articulation like that while “being accurate to its cast values.”
But he additionally said the aggregation will “stay adjustable and account customers’ wishes.”
Dyke said he expects Porsche to booty a able at a new three-row segment. “I do accept they will extend the cast and they should,” he said.
Bethesda, Maryland citizen Gary Baker, who has endemic Porsche models like the 928, the 911 and the Cayenne, said he would accede affairs a ample Porsche SUV if the cast fabricated one.
“They will accomplish it disciplinarian friendly,” he said. “I wouldn’t be anxious whatsoever.”
One change the cast has already appear is its accommodation to catechumen the Macan into an electric agent alpha “early” in the 2020s.
The about-face has acquired annoyed amid Porsche fans, abundant like back the cast originally debuted an SUV.
“That aforementioned pushback is accident now with the traditionalists who appetite to apprehend the agent roar, appetite to be able to accept all the things that a gas-powered agent gets you,” said Walsh, the admiral of the Porsche Club affiliate in the Potomac region.
Zellmer, who recalls Porsche accepting calefaction from admirers in the mid-90s for switching from air-cooled engines to water-cooled engines, knows the alteration could be bouldered in the beginning.
But he believes Porsche admirers will embrace the new beachcomber of battery-powered cartage because the cast is afterward a agnate playbook from its alteration to SUVs by absorption aboriginal on an electric sports car — the afresh debuted Taycan – afore axis to its aboriginal electric SUV.
“We appetite to accomplish abiding that bodies accept what Porsche does,” Zellmer said, “and so far that’s formed rather well.”
Follow USA TODAY anchorman Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/01/22/porsche-cayenne-macan-suvs-911-cars/4502342002/
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