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Porsche plans to raise Cayenne production

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will boost production of the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle (SUV) next year after surging deliveries of the sports-car maker’s best-selling model spurred a 37 per cent sales gain in the first half.

Cayenne output will increase by 10 per cent to 20 per cent starting in 2012, Bernhard Maier, Porsche’s sales chief, said in an interview. Demand for the vehicle, which starts at $48,200, caused delivery times to peak to as high as 12 months in markets such as China. Porsche wants waiting time to be no longer than six months.

“We’re now looking into ways we can expand production capacity to be able to serve our customers more quickly,” Maier said at the Stuttgart, Germany-based auto maker’s headquarters. “First-half data show that we’re growing almost consistently in all world markets and across all model lines.”

Porsche SE, which jointly owns the sports-car maker with Volkswagen AG, plans to merge with the Wolfsburg, Germany-based manufacturer. Backed by VW’s resources, the maker of the 911 aims to double sales to about 200,000 vehicles by 2018 by adding a compact SUV and increasing sales in emerging markets. Porsche should boost deliveries to more than 100,000 this year from 97,000 in 2010, Maier said.

Porsche, which also makes the $75,200 four-door coupe, increased sales 29 per cent to 10,670 models last month, leading to sales of 60,650 units through June, Maier said. Six- month orders rose 26 per cent to 65,660. There was a 12 per cent decline in June orders to 10,450, because year-earlier bookings were inflated by a revamped version of the Cayenne.

Second-Half Slowdown
The car maker plans to release complete first-half sales data on July 12, according to company spokesman Dirk Erat.

Panamera sales may rise to more than 28,000 units this year, compared with more than 20,000 in the first year after the model came to market in September 2009, Maier said.

Overall sales growth will slow in the coming months after record deliveries in the second half of 2010. The forthcoming overhaul of the 911 may also hamper sales, he said.

Prospects in the US, the company’s biggest market, are “very positive,” said Maier, a former executive at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG who took charge of Porsche’s sales operations in April 2010.

Its US sales rose 42 per cent, to 15,542 vehicles through the first six months of 2011, after a 19 per cent June gain.

“The US market is still characterised by a degree of volatility that shouldn’t be underestimated,” Maier said in the July 6 interview. “In the coming years, growth is conceivable in the US to help return to levels seen before the crisis.”

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