Porsche Powered by the Outlook for Households With an Annual Disposable Income in Excess of US$250,000

Porsche produced just 95,000 cars in 2010, a lower number than rolled off its lines in 2008 and more than 20,000 units shy of the record 107,000 units produced in 2007.  However, output increased by over 25% in 2011, smashing the 2007 record, buoyed by phenomenal demand growth in China.  Combined with a recovery in the US, where Porsche’s sales were 15% higher than in 2010, the company is understandably upbeat.

Considering the development of Porsche’s output level back to 2000, it essentially tracks Euromonitor International’s data on the global number of households with an annual disposable income of over US$250,000 through 2008.  From 2000 to 2002, Porsche’s output equated to 0.4% of homes with an ADI in excess of US$250,000, but as a direct result of the introduction of the Cayenne SUV there was a notable jump in this ratio in 2003, whereby Porsche’s production equated to 0.6-0.7% of the quarter of a million of these households over 2003-2008. However, through the global recession, output declined much more than the number of households with an ADI of over US$250,000 would have suggested as the number stabilised in 2009 and had already recovered to a record level of nearly 17 million homes in 2010.

Number of Households with an Annual Disposable Income in Excess of US$250,000 and US$300,000 and Implied Porsche Production, 2000-2020

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It was inevitable that the correlation between the world’s affluent households and Porsche demand would ultimately re-establish itself and, in fact, output again tracked the number of households with an ADI in excess of US$250,000 in 2011, equating to 0.7% of the number. This is the level it reached back in 2007, albeit bolstered by the addition of the Panamera to Porsche’s portfolio and, undoubtedly, some pent-up demand.

Looking forward, even with the woes in the EuroZone and the general global economic malaise, output of 125,000 units should be easily achievable in 2012 based just on the forecast growth in the number of homes with an ADI of over US$250,000.  However, with the rollout of the new 911 and Boxster as well as the Cayenne diesel and Panamera GTS, Porsche’s own target of 140,000 units in 2012 is entirely realistic.

Purely considering Euromonitor International’s forecast for the number of these households globally implies that Porsche will need to produce almost double the 2010 level in 2020.  This is without even factoring in the net addition of the Macan (an SUV positioned below the Cayenne), which is scheduled to start production in Leipzig in 2013, and a possible €40,000 entry-level roadster due in 2014. At the time of writing, Porsche is considering whether to go ahead with this second project given the economic climate. Even if the company does not decide to proceed with the latter model, the fundamentals are in place for Porsche to power ahead regardless.