x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Porsche sales in UAE surge 41%, driven by Cayenne 4x4

Sales of Porsche sports cars grow at a rapid pace during the first six months of the year.

The Cayenne is fueling Porsche's growth worldwide. Courtesy Porsche
The Cayenne is fueling Porsche's growth worldwide. Courtesy Porsche

Porsche sales in the Emirates surged 41 per cent in the first half of this year from a year earlier, driven by the four-wheel drive Cayenne model, which made up the bulk of purchases.

George Wills, the acting managing director for Porsche in the region, said the Cayenne 4x4, which makes up 70 per cent of sales, had helped to increase the popularity of the Porsche brand, as had an improved dealer network.

"The importer network has invested significantly over the past 24 months to ensure a high profile and prominent Porsche presence throughout the region," Mr Wills said.

The German company sold 1,356 cars in the first half of the year across the Emirates, compared with 958 vehicles in the same period last year.

The Cayenne, which has a starting price of Dh249,000 (US$67,795) in the UAE, is also fuelling Porsche's growth worldwide, causing the manufacturer to plan an increase in output of 10 to 20 per cent next year.

Demand for the 4x4 has caused delivery times to peak to as high as a year in markets such as China, Bernhard Maier, Porsche's head of sales and marketing, said in an interview with Bloomberg News last week.

Globally, Porsche delivered a total of 60,659 new vehicles in the first half of the year, up 36.8 per cent on the same period last year. Other sports and luxury car manufacturers are also working on launching 4x4 vehicles to take advantage of booming demand in the Middle East and other emerging markets.

The British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin is planning to reintroduce its Lagonda model in a 4x4 version.

"I see it as an opportunity, because people in this region want the avant-garde 4x4, a luxury utility vehicle," said Adham Charanoglu, the chief executive of Aston Martin in the Middle East and North Africa. "It is a big luxurious car, Aston is designing it and owns the Lagonda."

The car market is currently booming in the UAE as well as across the region.

Aston Martin this week announced a 30 per cent increase in regional sales in the first half of the year, compared with a year earlier.

Last week, Ford, Toyota, General Motors, BMW and Nissan all reported double-digit sales growth in the first six months of the year.

Middle East and Africa is the car manufacturer's fourth-biggest market worldwide, with the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa and Saudi Arabia the biggest-selling markets in the region.

Mr Wills said the brand was confident it would improve on last year's record sales of 6,842 cars in the region.

Globally, Porsche aims to double sales to about 200,000 vehicles by 2018 by adding a compact 4x4 and increasing sales in emerging markets.

rjones@thenational.ae