As has been the case with most international luxury car companies and brands, Porsche had an extraordinary year in 2015. Its jump in sales was driven by China, the market that offers the largest opportunity for Porsche and its rivals.
Porsche delivered 225,121 cars in 2015, up 19%. China sales jumped 24% to 58,099. Sales in the world’s largest car market are 26% of Porsche’s global total. The sports car company said of its strongest markets:
For the first time, the strongest single market in 2015 was China where Porsche delivered 58,009 vehicles. Compared with 2014, this was an increase of 24 percent. In the United States 51,756 vehicles were delivered, a growth of 10 percent. The European market grew by 24 percent to 75,354 units where Germany was the strongest single market with a total of 28,953 vehicles delivered (up 21 percent).
China outstripped Porsche’s home market, which is the goal of every car company in the world, as China’s total car sales reached just above to 21 million, well ahead of second-place America, where total sales were approximately 17.5 million.
While the U.S. car market set record sales in 2015, Porsche did poorly. Its sales in America were up only 10% to 51,756. Pointing out this was a record disguises what has to be a disappointment.
Porsche was one of the first major luxury car companies to lean on sport utility vehicles (SUVs) for a strong growth in sales, diversifying beyond its traditional sports coupes. The strategy worked. Management said:
Clearly, the growth drivers are the SUV models and the best-seller is the latest addition to the family. With more than 80,000 cars delivered globally, the Macan became the most coveted Porsche already in its first year of full availability. It is closely followed by the Cayenne (73,119 units). Compared with the previous year, the Macan and the Cayenne achieved two-digit growth figures.
Porsche’s challenge in 2016 is that the overall growth rate of auto sales in China has slowed. Efforts to curb dangerous air pollution may become one of the largest risks to car sales. Under those circumstances, Porsche’s growth rate will have to be much faster than that of the industry as a whole.