RE: Porsche Cayenne

RE: Porsche Cayenne

Sunday 17th February 2002

Porsche Cayenne

Is Porsche about to jeopardise its future with the Cayenne?


Author
Discussion

thom

Original Poster:

2,745 posts

237 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
quotequote all
Well Ted, super rant (once again, etc).

One thing I'm not sure though is wether the Cayenne is a waste of time for Porsche or not.
Personnally, I would NEVER ever think of owning such a truck, whatever the performance, but now I am only a sporst car enthusiast.

IMO Porsche is trying to secure a way of making big money other than the everlasting 911 (and let's admit it, one day or another they will have to scrap it, sorry bennno). Porsche can't sell twice as many 911 as they do now in the US, but they wish they could, so they're offering a new model to its market.

Maybe this is the first part of some 'hitlerian expansion', as you say, but if it can help Porsche afford the developpements and manufacturing of stripped-out racers (remember the almighty 968CS, 911RS) and the return of new front-engined range, then I say 'hail, do it!'.

I understand it seems very odd to introduce a new model while the company does extremely well now; but remember the variations on the four cylinder theme: Porsche was economically close to demise because of many different models offered in the range. Now they seem to be taking the opportunity to introduce a new car while they are very wealthy.

Well, just wait and see I suppose...

Lee77

328 posts

241 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
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I have one on order for the wife but she wants to stay with her Merc ML will have to see if I can convince her whe we get to see a vehicle in the flesh??

McNab

1,627 posts

238 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
quotequote all
I suppose we will just have to wait and see, but it certainly worries me. Lofty England (racing team Headmaster and later MD of Jaguar) once said to me that manufacturers should stick to the type of product they are well-known for. Was that an old-fashioned thing to say? Maybe, although the Headmaster was seldom wrong!

The horsepower race is moving so fast that I think Porsche needs to concentrate on keeping their sports and GT cars ahead of the rest. If they have money to spare after that they should get back into top class long-distance racing, and keep their name in the headlines - but then I would say that wouldn't I?

pbrettle

3,280 posts

247 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
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Totally right McNab - it seems daft to consider that a sports car manufacturer (and a successful one too) will want to branch out into something that could potentially dilute their brand.... It is a big risk for them.

Then again, reading Autocar last week and Steve Cropley made some comment (I think) that even if they capture a small percentage of the SUV market then they potentially double or triple their market spread - hence selling more cars.... No doubt it will be a success - but for me it is something that I would buy, a Porsche is a sports car and not an SUV - and I thought that the BMW X5 was an SUV too far....

And what is it about the shared development with VW - I know they have done this before, but if they look and perform similarily then they run the risk of making it look / drive like a VW. Fine for VW, but crap for Porsche.

In the age of congested roads, is it really good to go bigger?

Cheers,

Paul

Leithen

7,454 posts

231 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
quotequote all
Crikey Ted (Oops, should be Robert - see reply below) - where to start....? (Apologies for length and rant quotient)

Safety - If anything the extra height ought to improve safety and the old issue of fast cars in the wrong hands won't change with the addition of one more fast car whatever shape or size.

Pose - yes it will sell for that reason and curse Porsche for falling for that old capitalist number of trying to make a profit. It may make you sick but if the car performs and it guarantees their independence - I'll put up with it.

Making too much money - apart from the socialist ramifications, they need to do exactly that - and guarantee that it continues - it's the only way they will be able to design, manufacture and produce unique sports cars in the future. Buy your Aston Martin if you like, but something's missing for me.... as well as the fact that Ford doesn't have a great profit record over the last few years does it?

Board of Directors - not much escapes them, especially their Boss. They nearly lost it all in the early nineties and still know it - the Boxster was a financial gamble at the time - the reworking of the factory, production and supply chain was fundamental - hat's off the guy who called those shots - go to the factory, speak to the employees and the respect he has is obvious.

Hubris, Bad Hair Day - look at the financial structure behind the grand plan and it looks quite canny - the Cayenne is going to attack a niche area of the SUV market - development costs already covered - they aren't aiming at a mass market here.

Brand extensions - the majority of "Porsche" non car crap does not come from the factory - some other relative with his own ideas... and despite this for yet another year Porsche has been awarded Germany's most respected brand prize again...

Waste of time - well we're back to the "how to stay independent in this horrible world" problem - broadening their base is the only answer - that's why the 911 will develop into a sports and tourer split program. A hard look at the industry will confirm that they have proved everyone wrong in the last decade - enough to give them a little benefit of doubt surely...

LM02 - always wanted one just for sheer @#*$ off factor to the rest of the world - but seriously we are talking about Lamborghini here, not the best manufacturers record in the books....

Motor racing heritage - this is the one "Anti Cayenne" argument that really gets me riled - Porsche have had nothing to prove on the racetrack in the last 10 years - only a huge drain to throw money down - and a reputation to tarnish. The heritage is established - when they decide to make a factory works return they will most likely whip ass - but they should only bother when the race series exists that has some semblance of relevance to the cars they are trying to sell - no more Group C or similar sports prototypes thank God. If the V10 GT arrives and can transfer to Le Mans great - the motorsort criticism ought to be directed to the organisers inability to put together a Formula worth racing in.

Neither Porsche nor it's Chairman walk on water - the Cayenne could be an almighty disaster - I hope it isn't, if only for the long term financial future of the company.

The other way of looking at this is to do the hard part - the not so easy option - come up with an alternative strategy that keeps the company independent, doesn't lose any jobs (a few more than TVR have to worry about), copes with the Trades Union agreements that Germany are hot on, the economic situation Germany is in at the moment along with the straightjacket of the Euro and does it all by ONLY producing sports cars... go on you know you want to.....



>> Edited by Leithen on Sunday 17th February 21:47

>> Edited by Leithen on Monday 18th February 07:54

Rigormortis

28 posts

247 months

Sunday 17th February 2002
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Am I missing something?

Are Ted and Farago one and the same?




I always thought petrolted wasn't his real name.....

K G

41 posts

231 months

Monday 18th February 2002
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I personally think it'll sell - there's a lot of market here in the US for this kind of crap. They don't care about brand heritage here - why do you think Lexus sells so much more here than in Europe? Looks butt-ugly by the way...
It might dilute the brand image, but not by much i can tell you - the majority of sales won't even be visible to you folks in the UK.
Oh, and if i wanted something to cart the kids around in ....... hmm PASSAT!
Oh, and TVR Rules!

Leithen

7,454 posts

231 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
Apologies Ted, reply ought to have been aimed at Robert - no byline on the thread copy of article - that'll teach me to bookmark the last 24hrs......



>> Edited by Leithen on Monday 18th February 07:55

hoganscrogan

702 posts

248 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
This car is for America.

The amount of 911's and Boxsters you see cruising about Hollywood is huge! However the numbers pale into insignificance compared to the SUV's lumbering around (X5's are HOT there at the mo').

If Porsche can corner a small chunk of the (huge) US SUV(!) market they will be quids in.
This will mean plenty of money to develop their core sports car range. No more cutting corners on interiors, shared front ends etc.

I also thought Porsche developed this car in conjunction with VW. I 'd think this would mean they didn't have to pull resources away from sportscar development, and made the job quite cheap!

More depth please. Heard the 'SUV's are crap sportscars are great' diatribe before.


>> Edited by hoganscrogan on Monday 18th February 10:15

GregE240

10,857 posts

231 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
I'd have thought as well that Porsche wouldn't make each one at a loss. Too many harsh lessons in the recent past.

And as its obviously for the US, where these things will sell like hot cakes. And come on, if you want a sportscar, you buy a sportscar - right ? If you buy an SUV thinking it will handle like a 911, then more fool you.

marki

15,763 posts

234 months

Monday 18th February 2002
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Its going to be a massive sucsess , i would love one and why not , you can get all your stuff in it and still have fun driving it , it should be hailed as a masterpiece for its ability "if" it is as able as we are led to belive , more power to them for having the balls to take a different route in the quest for financial security , maybe Mr. F is just trying to make people happy slagging Porsche off on a TVR biased site after the beating he took over the MG aticle last week , as Leithen says the sunglasses , and all the other crap come from the Black sheep of the Famous familly

robert farago

108 posts

234 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
First of all, I'm not Ted.

More importantly, remember that the US SUV market is extremely crowded. There are already SUV's for every taste and budget.

While I have no doubts the Cayenne will be a great truck, and that badge snobbery is a potent sales weapon, Porsche is very late into this game.

What do they bring? Their unique selling point MUST be European handling and sports car speed. Fine, but I wonder if they have what it takes to convert drivers who probably already own the mighty X5 4.6 or ML AMG.

Me, I wouldn't want to take on BMW and Mercedes if I didn't have to. Porsche didn't have to.

thom

Original Poster:

2,745 posts

237 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
Well Robert, I don't think they really need to take on BMW or Merc; they just know the American will buy the car...because of the badge.

Leithen

7,454 posts

231 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
quote:

Me, I wouldn't want to take on BMW and Mercedes if I didn't have to. Porsche didn't have to.



Robert, apologies again for mistaking your article for one of Ted's .

IMHO Porsche have historicaly sold cars from the same segment as Mercedes (SL) for all of it's life and as BMW (8 Series vs 928) for part of it. The difference being that within the segment they have dominated or produced a different product.

The "SUV" segment is a wide one with ranging from real trucks to real off-road capable vehicles, to road vehicles with space, height and four wheel drive. The Cayenne must out perform the ML and X5 - and only the top versions of those models. From what I've heard it it will be the first SUV aimed firmly at high performance from the get go - and be priced to match.

I think it will easily outperform both of them them - on the road - I doubt it will have any real off road pretentions, although I seem to remember reading somewhere that two variations will be produced, one with more off-road ability.

I think it much more likely that the Cayenne will face one competitor not mentioned in your article, The new Range Rover. They will be similarily priced, have equal pose value and both have huge ability never used by 95% of owners. They will hardly ever be taken off road even though one of them has astonishing ability there. They will hardly ever be taken round the Nurburgring even though one of them has set astonishing times round the old 'ring.

Instead the potential market both are after ( 70,000 burning a hole in the back pocket) will have a simple choice in style - rugged off road heritage - or high performance heritage.

And IMHO they will both make their owners a huge chuck of money - or I for one hope.

On the "didn't have to" opinion, I'd be very interested to know what you feel they should have done instead - for example which variation of the sports car market they should have targeted that they aren't targeting at the moment or perhaps any other segment that had better posibilities. Or are you of the opinion that they didn't have to do anything?

marki

15,763 posts

234 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
quote:

On the "didn't have to" opinion, I'd be very interested to know what you feel they should have done instead - for example which variation of the sports car market they should have targeted that they aren't targeting at the moment or perhaps any other segment that had better posibilities. Or are you of the opinion that they didn't have to do anything?




The nail on the head Leithen , they had to do something and i think this is the fastest way for them to spin some $$$ back into the company , it is going to be a great car wether you like it or not Mr.F good luck to them

bosshog

1,296 posts

240 months

Monday 18th February 2002
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Personal I couldn't care whether they're building SUV, MPV or buses, so as long as they get more money to develop more interesting sport cars. Thats all the matters - more choice from a company that has the ability to make great sports cars. Bring on a more diverse range rather than the current 2 model line up. Its about time.

domster

8,428 posts

234 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
I think they should make a new 911 with the engine on a small trailer behind the car, just to annoy all the 'can't have an engine in the back' brigade.

kevinday

8,802 posts

244 months

Monday 18th February 2002
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Or how about a big V8 front engined rear wheel drive sports car?

domster

8,428 posts

234 months

Monday 18th February 2002
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Or a nice entry level 2+2 with a VW/Audi van engine?

JSG

2,238 posts

247 months

Monday 18th February 2002
quotequote all
Robert's bang on the money here - why? It won't do Porsche any good in the eyes of car enthusiasts, just increase the number of Porsche badges on the school run.

I have an 1998 model Cherokee, which handles ok for a SUV and can off road, do school runs and cart junk to the dump - but it does 16 mpg, is slow and on road is worse than a Mondeo - I can't wait to get rid of now - I'm bored.

If you need 4x4 capacity / ability coupled with performance and handling then buy a Subaru Forrester (or Legacy estate). If you want real off road ability get a Defender - at least its a proper off roader not a SUV.

Rant off.