Porsche's Macan Crossover Saves Car Maker From Mediocre 2016

Ultra-luxury carmaker Porsche has trouble selling its traditional coupes. Sales of the iconic 911 dropped from 9,898 in 2015 to 8,901 last year. It also struggled with the sales of its full-sized sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne, the sales of which fell from 16,473 in 2015 to 15,383 last year. And its sedan, the Panamera, also lost sales, falling from 4,986 to 4,403.

It would have been a mediocre year for Porsche, but sales of its Macan crossover rose from 13,533 to 19,332. The newest member of Porsche’s line up is now its most successful.

For the full year, Porsche sales rose modestly from 51,756 to 54,280. The struggle to grow has to do with both competition and the general move away from sedans and coupes toward SUVs and crossovers. As the model lines of companies, which include BMW, Mercedes and Audi, add high-performance vehicles, Porsche’s sales get squeezed. And each of these manufacturers has a direct competitor to the Cayenne, 911 and Panamera.

The Macan is not only a crossover, but one carrying a price that makes it available to a fairly wide segment of buyers. The base price for the Cayenne is $59.600. The Macan’s is $47,500. And the strategy of the Macan’s lineup of models follows that of all the other Porsche models. With the addition of larger engines, speed and luxury features, prices can nearly double.

The Macan is in the sweet spot of luxury cars, in both price and its crossover configuration. It is an odd model to save Porsche’s year, neither a true performance car nor a high-end SUV. But it worked.