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Market Insight: Porsche could end 2020 on even keel

Fighting the tide: Models like the Macan (left) could help Porsche avoid what has been a disatrous sales year for other brands.

New Porsche sales down due to supply, not demand as approved used enquiry soars


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9 Nov 2020

PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA) is in with a chance of ending 2020 with similar or equal sales volume to last year as pandemic-related supply constraints ease and deliveries of key new models commence.


Meanwhile, interest in the Porsche Approved used-car program is soaring around the country and showrooms outside of locked-down Melbourne – especially Brisbane – are basking in good times and 2021 looks promising with the arrival of more fresh metal and more certainty about how the pandemic will play out.


Porsche sales to the end of October are down 5.0 per cent in a market that has slumped 18.8 per cent, whereas in 2019 the German luxury sports brand increased volume by 6.4 per cent in a market that was down 7.8 per cent.


Speaking with GoAuto at the recent 718 4.0 GTS and 911 Turbo S launch in South East Queensland, PCA head of PR Chris Jordan attributed some of the extra interest in Porsche vehicles to the impact of COVID-19 on discretionary spending patterns.


“Spending in peoples’ lives, such as overseas holidays, isn’t happening so they have brought forward, prioritised or upgraded their car purchases,” he said.


“The types of holidays that are happening are most likely a road-trip type holiday, which makes the personal space of your own car more important and also the enjoyment of the car more important because the car is part of your holiday now as well.”


Year-to-date, only the Macan medium SUV has edged forward by 2.6 per cent, with 1810 sales.


Combined sales of the Cayenne SUV (662 units) and its Cayenne Coupe derivative (415) that was introduced late last year amount to 1037 units, down 8.23 per cent on the 1130 Cayenne wagons sold to the end of Octoberr 2019.


For reference, the Cayenne ended 2019 with 1352 deliveries (up 24.7 per cent) and the Macan was up 7.2 per cent with 2009 units sold while other Porsche models except the 911 (down 1.4 per cent) took a bath with double-digit decreases.


As well as holding firm this year, the Macan is drawing customers into the Porsche Approved used-car program which Mr Jordan said was experiencing “really strong demand”, adding that he was not including Victoria in this overall picture due to the stricter and longer-lasting COVID-19 restrictions there.


While there is no VFacts data for used-car sales, Mr Jordan confirmed there had been such an increase in Porsche Approved volume that dealerships were struggling to obtain enough stock.


“We’re trying to get more supply for our Porsche Centres for used cars because they don’t have enough,” he said.


On the new-car front, Mr Jordan said that from September supply of stock into dealerships was freeing up after pandemic-related factory shutdowns in Europe led to a slowdown in third-quarter deliveries for Australia.


“Supply is coming back into the Porsche Centres and the numbers you see in this quarter will be stronger,” he said.


GoAuto understands that Porsche is in with a chance of matching or nearing its 2019 sales tally of 4161 units by year’s end if deliveries arrive and Melbourne’s lockdown eases in good time.


In addition, the arrival of hotly anticipated 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS 4.0 variants this month will give those models a boost in time for Christmas.


Mr Jordan said Porsche AG overcame numerous obstacles in not only quickly reopening its factories in Bratislava, Zuffenhausen and Leipzig quickly but restoring supply chains and returning to 100 per cent production capacity as fast as possible.


Although Porsche sources few components from COVID-19 epicentre China, a lot come from Italy and Spain, which were among Europe’s hardest hit by the pandemic.


Mr Jordan said that when COVID-19 outbreaks emerged in Italy, PCA made the early decision to place a large spare parts order so that dealerships and customers in Australia would not be left stranded without timely access to spares and service items.


Breaking down this year’s sales of each Porsche model, the 992-generation 911 that began to roll out in March 2019 is down 20.0 per cent YTD but October sales were up 18.2 per cent year-on-year with 62 of this year’s total 330 deliveries arriving last month as evidence of supply beginning to flow into Australia.


It is a similar story with the Boxster, down 11.3 per cent YTD but with last month’s volume up 57.1 per cent – 11 of the 71 sold so far arriving that month – and the Macan was also up 51.7 per cent in September with 264 deliveries contributing to a 1637 total to September.


Macan sales in October tally 173 units, up 26.3 per cent year-on-year.


The Panamera sedan and wagon is about to be replaced, hence a 66.7 per cent downturn.


With the Cayman, GoAuto understands popularity of the hardcore GT4 variant in Australia outstrips that of its Boxster Spyder counterpart which has contributed to its minor 0.8 per cent slip year-to-date, along with locked-down Victoria accounting for a disproportionate number of convertible sales for Porsche.


That said, a supply pinch could be represented in the compact coupe’s September figures being down 25.0 per cent.


Cayenne wagon slumped 10.4 per cent in October also, but popularity of the coupe body style in its first full year on sale – which Mr Jordan said had exceeded PCA expectations – could have accounted for that anomaly.


GoAuto understands that PCA was expecting the coupe to contribute 25-30 per cent of overall Cayenne sales in Australia but the forecast for 2020 is now looking closer to 50 per cent.

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