August 10, 2015
Volkswagen AG recently took the title of the highest selling automaker, however they did it riding the coattails of Audi and Porsche. Audi is experiencing record breaking growth. I actually spoke to an ex-executive at Audi, he was working as a BMW salesperson. He told me that the growth was so explosive it actually reached the point of being stressful. Apparently, he was receiving a zero healthy paycheck, but decided to give it up to instead work the calm life of a car salesman. Their full sport brother in Volkswagen AG had similar success, just not quite as meteoric. Porsche is expanding due to their quality lineup and their impressive hybrid technology. The German sports car maker swiftly and silently started earning accolades for producing quality autos. JD power and associates named them number 1 in the past three years’ initial quality studies. They earned 2nd in Vehicle Dependability in 2013, but dropped to 9th in 2014 before bouncing back up to 6th in 2015. Lately, Volkswagen AG has been asking all those under their umbrella to invest all they can into cross-brand platforms and technologies. Most prominently in the form of developing fuel cell technologies. Of course, this should benefit all of VW AG, however it is at the cost of not expanding their top two brands. Audi has been able to update a few of their old models, but no major changes. Excluding of course, the A3, which now looks fantastic in comparison to the old model. The only other big change they have had was adding the high security option to the existing A8L. Porsche on the hand started expanding their aging lineup in the beginning of 2015, first with the supermodel SUV the Macan, but that is just the start. After their start at the beginning of this year, they will have at least 4 new models by the end of 2019. If only in the form of never existing body-powertrain combinations. For example, while the Cayenne has been with us for a few years now, Porsche just this year added a plug-in hybrid version. Not only is this the first plug-in hybrid SUV the company has made, it is the first plug-in hybrid SUV ever. With the Cayenne S E-hybrid, Porsche beat Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW to market. Not only that, it is no secret that Porsche is also developing an all electric SUV to directly challenge the Model X. But it is not only the Model X that the German automaker will be challenging. They also have an all electric sedan in production, thus far dubbed the Pajun (PAnamera JUNior) or the 717 aiming straight at the Tesla Model S. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned push towards team VW AG, we will not be seeing that all electric model until 2019 if not later. Porsche also confirmed its plan to bridge the gap between the 911 and the 918, with the 960 (why not 916). This car will more resemble the Cayman packed with power. This model wants to give the Ferrari 458 Italia nightmares. It will enter the market above $200,000 and squeeze out at least 600 horses out of its mid-engine V8 or V6 that might even feature a turbocharger for each second cylinder. There is another rumor that just will not die surrounding Porsche. It is said that they will be bringing back a familiar numeric name; the 718; after the world renowned racecar. It might even carry the recently trademarked GT5 classification. Though at the moment it is not known how it would enter the market (assuming it ever does). It would be definitely be the new entry level Porsche if it is released. However, it could accomplish that feat in two different ways. Either it could meld the Cayman and Boxster together into one entry level model dubbed the 718, or it could sit below Boxster at the base of the totem. Speaking of the Boxster, in 2011 an e-Boxster prototype was introduced. For some reason the company refuses to put it on sale, but I think they should. Porsche’s lineup is expanding quickly, but it should also feature an electric competitor for each of Tesla’s models (except the model 3), since they are already developing the technology for their 2 other electric models. Why not one extra to put the Tesla Roadster in its place.