Porsche Has No Plans to Go Low-End
By Phil LeBeau, CNBC Correspondent
NEW YORK (CNBC) -- At a time when luxury automakers are speeding up sales by rolling out lower priced entry-level models, Porsche is taking a different route.
The German automaker says it has no plans to roll out a model below the Boxster.
In an interview with Automotive News, the sales chief for Porsche says he is still intent on doubling sales, but doesn't want to cheapen the brand by going with a lower price point for a new car.
Personally, I think it's the right call.
The expansion of luxury lines has no doubt been a huge success for several companies. Look at how BMW sales (and brand awareness) soared with the 3 Series and to a lesser extent with the recent addition of the 1 Series.
But as luxury line-ups grow it creates an opportunity for some luxury players to take advantage of the exclusivity that comes with not going down market. In other words, if you can afford dropping $50,000 to $90,000 on a Porsche you don't have to worry about seeing others driving around in lower priced entry-level models.
For Porsche, the minimum to get into the brand with a New Porsche Boxster is $49,500. A New Boxster S will cost you $69,900. At those prices, the market is strong. Strong enough to support doubling sales worldwide? That will be tough.
This year Porsche sales in the U.S. are up 2.7%, trailing the industry's growth. Last year Porsche outpaced the industry with sales growing 14%. That's solid growth, but doubling sales will require more. Like all luxury automakers Porsche is growing quickly in Asia and that will fuel much of its growth.
Staying with higher price points can work in the luxury car business, especially with a brand that has carved out a niche. For Porsche that means not trying to sell a car for $30k or $35K.
--Written by Phil LeBeau at CNBC