By Shane McGinley
German car maker, in which Qatar holds 10% stake, plans additional shift at plant to meet demand
German sports car maker Porsche, in which Qatar holds a 10 percent stake, saw Middle East sales of its popular Cayenne model increase by 42 percent this year.
Sales between January and November 2011 rose 18.7 percent, the luxury car maker told Arabian Business. Last year, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer shipped 6,842 vehicles to the MENA region.
Across the MENA region, the Porsche Cayenne has still proven to be popular, accounting for over half of sales in 2010 and more than 24,000 sales since it was launched in the region in 2003.
This year, the model saw a 42 percent surge in sales, a Porsche spokesperson told Arabian Business.
“Positive for us are also the Panamera deliveries which are stable, despite the model being in its in third year after introduction,” the spokesperson added.
In order to meet demand for the popular models, Porsche is planning to introduce a third shift at its Leipzig manufacturing base next month in order to increase production of the Cayenne and Panamera.
The carmaker said in October its profits jumped 25 percent during the first nine months of 2011. Following a surge in sales to Asia, the group said operating profit between January and September rose to €1.51bn ($2.14bn) from €1.21bn in the same period in 2010.
Porsche said it predicts that earnings and sales in the full year 2011 will surpass last year. Lutz Meschke, Porsche’s chief financial officer, said: “This result impressively underlines the sustainable quality of our growth trajectory, which we will continue throughout the full 2011 financial year.
"Our assumption is that 2011 sales revenue and operating profit will significantly exceed the previous year’s levels."
Matthias Müller, chairman of Porsche, said: “For the first time in its history, Porsche will sell over 100,000 vehicles.”
Porsche said growth was spread across all regions but with the largest increase being posted by China, with vehicle sales up 82 percent to 17,683 units.
Total sales in the Asia/Rest of the World region, which includes the Middle East, rose by 54 percent to 31,954 vehicles.