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Macan popularity boosting Cayenne

Big brother: The updated Porsche Cayenne arrives in dealerships this month with the three month wait proving more palatable for some buyers than the 10-month wait for a Macan.

Wannabe Porsche Macan owners opting for Cayenne instead of 10 month wait

Porsche logo14 Nov 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

THE popularity of Porsche's Macan crossover is helping to boost interest in the Cayenne, with some buyers opting for the larger SUV rather than holding out for the more new, compact high-riding wagon.

As the Australian waiting list for the wildly popular Macan crossover – launched here in May this year – blows out to 10 months, Porsche Cars Australia managing director Sam Curtis told GoAuto that some potential Macan buyers had turned to the Cayenne instead, but only when the bigger SUV has suited the customer’s needs.

“There have been cases where that is happening,” he said. “People are coming into showrooms and looking at Macan and told they have a 10-month wait and in some instances they are not prepared to wait.

“And this (Macan) is sort of a new demographic to us. Customers in the past have done due diligence several months out from buying a new car. Maybe six months out before their lease expires on their current car.

“When they are told there is a 10-month wait, what do they do? Their plan is to get into a new car. Some of these customers, we are putting to them a Cayenne.

In some cases it’s proven successful but it has to meet the needs of the buyer.”

Since its local debut in May, Porsche has sold 488 Macans to become the second best-selling model in its arsenal so far this year, behind the Cayenne on 972 units.

At the launch of the facelifted Cayenne in New South Wales this week, Mr Curtis said the company expected the Macan to hit 700 units by year's end, adding that it could have sold double that amount if it had the stock. The order bank for the Audi Q5-based crossover is now sitting at 1300.

Stock of the Cayenne, however, is much healthier, according to Mr Curtis, but he did say there was a short wait for delivery of the refreshed SUV.

“We have already got a healthy order bank growing. At this stage one would suggest we probably have a three month order bank. Which is not untypical of Porsche. It’s then just a matter of demand.”

The Cayenne is expected to record 1200 sales this year, beating last year's haul of 1120 and marking its best annual sales in Australia since it launched in 2003. Mr Curtis said Porsche will monitor stock and address availability if it becomes an issue.

“We will test the market. In the first six months if we see the orders are exceeding arrivals, we will put in a request for additional supply. It’s just managing that supply. Making sure you have enough but not too many.”

With prices starting at $86,700, plus on-road costs, the Macan represents the new entry point to the Porsche range, and is the most affordable Porsche in 25 years.

While Mr Curtis said the company has embraced the new demographic that the Macan has brought to the brand, he added that there have been challenges meeting the sometime high expectations of first-time Porsche buyers.

“Seventy per cent of our current order base are first time buyers. They certainly do come with a certain expectation, in some cases higher expectations than our typical Porsche customer.

“But of course the badge, the image and the quality of the product is what has drawn them to our brand, and whilst they might want a lot more than what we are offering, so to speak, and what they are accustomed to, I think they quickly come to accept that this is Porsche, and we don’t compromise at any level and we offer the best that we can in this segment.”

Mr Curtis said Porsche Cars Australia has introduced a 'Keep Warm' customer service campaign, which ensures the company remains in touch with a Macan buyer once they have put down a deposit.

The idea is to update the customer on the progress of their order every three to six months, and providing them with build production number, when it becomes available.

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