Porsche aims to double sales by 2018

Porsche aims to double sales with bold expansion plans into Asia and with the addition of new model lines.

Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has said that the company is aiming to double its sales by 2018. The news comes on the back of Porsche's sales figures for the first half of 2011 during which it shifted 60,650 cars, a 36 percent increase year-over-year. By comparison, it sold just over 90,000 vehicles throughout 2010, a mark that it should beat comfortably this year.

"We want our sales in 2018 to around 200 000 units more than doubled," the 58-year-old Mueller said.

To achieve this, Mueller aims to add new product lines to its range, taking it from four now (911, Boxster/Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera) to around six or seven models. The recently announced Cajun is projected to reach around 50,000 sales, while the Panamera will move around 25,000 units a year.

An extra 30,000 sales are predicted to come from Asia, which is a growing market for Porsche vehicles. Further growth will come from the expansion of Porsche dealerships from 700 to 1000 - in China alone, dealerships will increase from 40 to an estimated 100.

Beyond the forthcoming Cajun sports SUV, Mueller recently said on Thursday that the company may rekindle the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder. Another two models may join the line, although Mueller has not suggested what they might be. Its Cajun is based on the Audi Q5, so it's possible it could draw from Audi, or from other areas of its new owner Volkswagen's stable, to more easily generate new product lines.

However, the fact that Porsche has drawn from the Volkswagen's stable to create the Cajun has led to accusations that company could dilute its brand cache. Critics of Mueller's plans have also argued that an increase in sales could also hurt the brand as it could be perceived to be less exclusive.

In response, Mueller argues that they Cajun is not simply rebadged Q5. It will carry the distinctive Porsche DNA including striking design, driving dynamics, sound and stopping power. The Cajun, argues Mueller, is a sports car in an SUV format.

For Porsche fans, however, the proof of the pudding will be in the tasting. The company which launched the controversial Panamera has proven that it is willing to take a gamble to increase its sales, and to date, its strategy is proving successful.

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