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Orders for new Porsche Cayenne beat CEO's expectations

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Orders for new Porsche Cayenne beat CEO's expectations

Automotive News Europe -- April 14, 2010 12:08 CET

LEIPZIG (Bloomberg) -- Porsche SE's new version of the Cayenne sports-utility vehicle, which will arrive at European showrooms May 8, attracted orders that beat expectations, according to CEO Michael Macht

“We're looking at an incredibly high order intake from almost all markets,” Macht said at the German manufacturer's factory in Leipzig, where the next generation of Porsche's best-selling model was presented. “Orders are clearly exceeding our expectations.” He didn't give figures.

Porsche plans to add models with a goal of doubling yearly sales to as many as 150,000 vehicles over the medium term, and benefit from savings from a merger with Volkswagen AG, Macht said. Deliveries in the six months ended Jan. 31 fell no more than 1.7 percent to 33,670 units, compared with a decline of 40 percent in the first quarter.

“Everything is suggesting that this negative trend seems to have ended,” the CEO said at the Leipzig plant, where about 640 workers assemble Panamera and Cayenne vehicles. Improving deliveries and the 3.7 percent increase in first-half revenue “are encouraging news that indicate that the end of the long drought is indeed in sight.”

Volkswagen agreed to merge with Porsche in August after the 911 sports-car maker's debt tripled to more than 10 billion euros ($13.6 billion) following a failed bid to buy Volkswagen by securing stock through options transactions. Macht yesterday disputed an April 8 report by London-based Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Max Warburton saying tax and legal issues could derail the planned fusion.

VW, Porsche merger on 'good path'

“The essential legal and financial preconditions for the planned merger of both companies have meanwhile been achieved,” Macht said. “We're on a good path to be able to forge a competitive, integrated carmaker in the course of next year.”

Porsche rose as much as 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, to 46.30 euros in Frankfurt and was little changed at 45.70 euros as of 9:40 a.m., valuing the carmaker at 8 billion euros.

Porsche unveiled the third generation of the Cayenne, including the manufacturer's first-ever hybrid model, at the Geneva auto show in March. The upgraded SUV offers the performance of a V8 engine, though its fuel efficiency matches that of a gasoline-powered V6.

Sale price for the new Cayenne starts at 55,431 euros ($75,700) in Germany. Deliveries of the current generation tumbled 25 percent to 34,300 units in Porsche's fiscal year ended July 31, 2009.

Porsche sold “clearly” more cars and SUVs last month than in previous months and compared with March 2009, helped by the Panamera sedan, Macht said. The carmaker “firmly” expects to boost 2010 deliveries beyond last year's 75,200 units, the CEO said.

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