Germany's Porsche Drives Toward Success in the Middle East
Porsche Middle East (PME), a subsidiary of the German automaker, recently announced record sales at the conclusion of its inaugural year in the region.
Mark Bishop, Managing Director of Porsche Middle East conveyed at a press conference that sales in the first half year of the current fiscal expanded by 12. 4 percent to 21,103 units, including 10,686 Boxters (a 26.2 percent increase).
Porsche's new off-road 4x4 'Cayenne', which is being jointly developed by Porsche and Volkswagen, will arrive in the Middle East by mid-2002, and officials hope that approximately 1,000 units will be sold in the first year after the launch. Cayenne (synonymous for spiciness), as Porsche's first off-road sport utility vehicle and third model 2000 range after the 911 and the Boxster, has company officials buzzing. In May 2000, a team of development engineers from Porsche headquarters in Germany came to the Middle East to examine road conditions, and survey the market requirements. "We have taken the needs and expectations of the Middle East consumer into consideration while developing the vehicle," Bishop told reporters.
Porsche boasts five new showrooms in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Qatar, with plans brewing to open new locations in Kuwait, Bahrain and Riyadh in the coming 12 months. "We have opened five new showrooms in the GCC in the past year. We see that the future is very bright as we continue to develop on what we have," remarked Bishop.
Bishop predicted that 390 new cars would be sold by his company in the Middle East region from the Porsche Model Year 2000 offerings, constituting a 15 percent increase compared to the 1999 model listings. In the Middle East, the Boxster series comprises 40 percent of all sales for model 2000 Porsche models, with the 911 range making up the remaining 60 percent.
Next year, Porsche Middle East expects a 15 percent jump in sales with the arrival of the new 911 Turbo. "The first 911 Turbo cars in the region are now with their owners and we are expecting to deliver a total of 37 units before August," Bishop commented.
Since Porsche opened its new Middle East offices in February 1999, more than 390 vehicles were sold from the 2000 series -- a 15 percent boost from the previous year's sales. "The Gulf accounts for 40 per cent of the 4x4 cars sold in the Middle East - and it's still growing," relayed Stefan Ruschke, Company Marketing Manager.
The "Porsche Cayenne" will be produced in a new factory in Germany and will be launched on the market in 2002. By the end of 2001, the new $54 million production location will be completed in Leipzig Germany, and will have an annual output of more than 25,000 units worldwide. "The Middle East is our key market and we are expecting a very positive reaction from here for our first off-road SUV (sports utility vehicle)," Bishop announced. The company expects total sales of 46,000 cars worldwide for the model year 2000.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)