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Porsche gears up for Boxster boom

It’s back: Porsche hopes new Boxster sales will rival those of the all-new 911, at about 400 a year.

Boxster set to turn back the clock with sales of up to 400 a year – Porsche hopes

Porsche logo15 Jun 2012

PORSCHE Cars Australia is hoping its new third-generation Boxster roadster will recapture the sales glory of the roadster’s halcyon days in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the first generation racked up about 400 sales a year.

Although PCA managing director Michael Winkler is reluctant to pin a number on his sales aspirations for the all-new model, he said he was expecting a jump in Boxster sales compared with recent years.

“The first model sold 350-400 a year in its heyday,” he said. “We would hope that it will at least emulate that.

“We could be as bold as to say we might surprise ourselves.”

In recent times, the only Porsche model to exceed 400 units in Australia has been the top-selling Cayenne SUV, which achieved 803 sales last year – about 60 per cent of Porsche’s total 1343 units in 2011.

Last year, Boxster managed 132 sales, which is about par for its run since the global financial crisis struck in 2008, but well behind its stablemate, the 911, which achieved 201 units last year, even though the 911 was also in its last year before a major model change.

The Boxster’s best sales performance in Australia was 409 units in 2001 – four years after the nameplate arrived in local showrooms.

25 center imageLeft: Porsche Cars Australia managing director, Michael Winkler.

Mr Winkler said Boxster supply would not be an issue, saying: “We will get what we planned to have.”

But he confessed it was difficult to judge customer demand ahead of launch, as Boxster customers tended to wait to see and touch the car before committing.

“With 911 that has been through many generations, the customers have blind faith that the next one will be better,” he said.

“This is the first real major change for the Boxster, and customers are being a bit cautious. They are waiting to see if we have stuffed it up first.”

However, he said the improvements to the Boxster gave Porsche confidence that customers would be queuing up soon enough.

The main criticism of the previous Boxster had been that it was “a bit soft”, but that had been addressed with the latest edition, which Porsche believed would stand on its own feet as a core model, without constant comparison with 911.

The new car gets an all-new platform – the first major change in that area since the topless two-seater was launched in Australia in 1997.

The concept remains unchanged, with a mid-mounted flat-six engine in two sizes, matched with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed automatic PDK transmission and all packed in a lightweight body.

The new Boxster is likely to joust with the bigger and more expensive 911 as the second-best-seller in the Porsche range behind the Cayenne, with the company suspecting 911 – despite a price tag double that of Boxster – also finding about 400 customers a year when the full range comes on stream.

The Boxster range starts at $107,500 (plus on-road costs) for the manual 2.7-litre base Boxster.

By comparison, the cheapest 911 is the $229,800 manual Carrera Coupe.

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