Robot arms coat a Porsche Macan at the company’s new plant in Leipzig, Germany. Tobias Schwarz / Reuters
Robot arms coat a Porsche Macan at the company’s new plant in Leipzig, Germany. Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

Porsche changes gear as it predicts sales above 200,000



The Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller says the high-end car maker will exceed 200,000 in annual deliveries in 2015, three years earlier than first targeted, on demand for the Macan compact sport-utility vehicle going on sale later this year.

“We’re transferring the genes of the Porsche brand into a new market segment,” Mr Mueller said in a speech this week to mark the start of Macan production in Leipzig, Germany. “Porsche will remain a manufacturer of very exclusive premium cars.”

Porsche is ready to boost annual Macan production beyond the 50,000 currently being planned should demand outstrip supply, Mr Mueller said. Porsche has spent €500 million (Dh2.5 billion) to expand the Leipzig factory.

Vying for customers with the top versions of BMW’s X3, Daimler’s Mercedes GLK and the Range Rover Evoque, the compact model will probably emerge as Porsche’s most popular next year. The 4x4s are due to account for a majority of sales, according to IHS Automotive estimates. Porsche, owned by Volkswagen, expects robust growth in premium 4x4 sales in the next decade and is considering a GTS performance version of the Macan, Mr Mueller says.

“It’s probably the right car for the right time,” says Ian Fletcher, a London-based IHS analyst. Porsche may already pass the 200,000 mark this year on sales of more than 45,000 Macans, he estimates.

VW stock has climbed 7 per cent in the past year, valuing the German car maker at €87.2bn.

Together with the Cayenne, which is 16.5cm longer than the Macan and the brand’s current best seller, 4x4s are forecast to account for 64 per cent of Porsche sales next year, while the share of sports cars will drop to 24 per cent of deliveries, according to IHS.

Sports cars accounted for the majority of Porsche sales before the introduction of the Panamera four-door coupe in 2009.

Porsche’s US$845,000 918 Spyder hybrid, unveiled at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt in September, can reach 100km per hour in 2.8 seconds and gets the equivalent of about 72 miles per gallon (mpg), based on European fuel-economy data. That tops the 50 mpg of Toyota’s basic Prius hybrid.

“Cars like the 918 help Porsche maintain its edge as a sports-car maker while pursuing further expansion in the SUV segment with the Macan,” says Frank Schwope, a Hanover-based analyst at NordLB.

Porsche’s deliveries rose 15 per cent to a record 162,145 vehicles last year as demand for the Boxster and Cayman models more than doubled. Monthly sales growth slowed to 1.4 percent in January.

Demand is set to gain traction in the second half as Porsche adds the Macan to its line-up. The model goes on sale on April 5 in Germany. At a starting price of €57,930 for the 340-horsepower Macan S version, it is about 25 per cent cheaper than a comparably equipped Cayenne 4x4.

Mr Mueller raised the possibility in 2012 of adding a $250,000 sports car to challenge Fiat’s Ferrari brand once the Macan enters the Porsche fleet.

An initial decision on a new model could be made by the middle of this year, he said this week.

“We’ve got a number of options and proposals to choose from.”

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver review

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ed Skrein, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Rating: 2/5

'Top Gun: Maverick'

Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Ed Harris

Global institutions: BlackRock and KKR

US-based BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with $5.98 trillion of assets under management as of the end of last year. The New York firm run by Larry Fink provides investment management services to institutional clients and retail investors including governments, sovereign wealth funds, corporations, banks and charitable foundations around the world, through a variety of investment vehicles.

KKR & Co, or Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, is a global private equity and investment firm with around $195 billion of assets as of the end of last year. The New York-based firm, founded by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, invests in multiple alternative asset classes through direct or fund-to-fund investments with a particular focus on infrastructure, technology, healthcare, real estate and energy.

 

'My Son'

Director: Christian Carion

Starring: James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen, Gary Lewis

Rating: 2/5

Breast cancer in men: the facts

1) Breast cancer is men is rare but can develop rapidly. It usually occurs in those over the ages of 60, but can occasionally affect younger men.

2) Symptoms can include a lump, discharge, swollen glands or a rash. 

3) People with a history of cancer in the family can be more susceptible. 

4) Treatments include surgery and chemotherapy but early diagnosis is the key. 

5) Anyone concerned is urged to contact their doctor

 

DUNE: PART TWO

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Timothee Chamalet, Zendaya, Austin Butler

Rating: 5/5

UAE finals day

Friday, April 13
Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

3pm, UAE Conference: Dubai Tigers v Sharjah Wanderers
6.30pm, UAE Premiership: Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Amitav Ghosh, University of Chicago Press

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

if you go

The flights

Flydubai flies to Podgorica or nearby Tivat via Sarajevo from Dh2,155 return including taxes. Turkish Airlines flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Podgorica via Istanbul; alternatively, fly with Flydubai from Dubai to Belgrade and take a short flight with Montenegro Air to Podgorica. Etihad flies from Abu Dhabi to Podgorica via Belgrade. Flights cost from about Dh3,000 return including taxes. There are buses from Podgorica to Plav. 

The tour

While you can apply for a permit for the route yourself, it’s best to travel with an agency that will arrange it for you. These include Zbulo in Albania (www.zbulo.org) or Zalaz in Montenegro (www.zalaz.me).

 

If you go:
The flights: Etihad, Emirates, British Airways and Virgin all fly from the UAE to London from Dh2,700 return, including taxes
The tours: The Tour for Muggles usually runs several times a day, lasts about two-and-a-half hours and costs £14 (Dh67)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on now at the Palace Theatre. Tickets need booking significantly in advance
Entrance to the Harry Potter exhibition at the House of MinaLima is free
The hotel: The grand, 1909-built Strand Palace Hotel is in a handy location near the Theatre District and several of the key Harry Potter filming and inspiration sites. The family rooms are spacious, with sofa beds that can accommodate children, and wooden shutters that keep out the light at night. Rooms cost from £170 (Dh808).

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

The bio

Date of Birth: April 25, 1993
Place of Birth: Dubai, UAE
Marital Status: Single
School: Al Sufouh in Jumeirah, Dubai
University: Emirates Airline National Cadet Programme and Hamdan University
Job Title: Pilot, First Officer
Number of hours flying in a Boeing 777: 1,200
Number of flights: Approximately 300
Hobbies: Exercising
Nicest destination: Milan, New Zealand, Seattle for shopping
Least nice destination: Kabul, but someone has to do it. It’s not scary but at least you can tick the box that you’ve been
Favourite place to visit: Dubai, there’s no place like home