Is the global luxury auto market cooling? Despite bold predictions for worldwide sales growth from most luxury automakers throughout much of 2012, Porsche may be among the first to admit that 2013 sales probably won’t exceed 2012 numbers.
To maintain its expected levels of profitability, Reuters reports that the German automaker will reduce vehicle production in 2013, as well as trimming spending wherever possible. That means certain future projects could be temporarily shelved or cancelled outright, depending upon the economic outlook.
Porsche isn’t giving further details, with CEO Matthias Müller saying only, “We will possibly delay the one or the other project,” without elaborating on what those projects may be.
Both the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar and the Macan compact SUV are likely too far along in development to shelve, so Müller’s comment likely refers to one of the many rumored Porsche development projects. We haven't heard any more rumblings about a Panamera-based wagon or a "Panamera Junior," but our guess is that neither would survive budget cuts.
It's possible that Porsche could look to trim its motorsport budget as well, even though racing is a key part of the brand's identity. The 2014 merger of the ALMS and Grand Am series will likely help Porsche save money, but that won't help next year.
The news of Porsche’s 2013 plans came at an otherwise upbeat news conference, announcing the start of Porsche Boxster production at Volkswagen’s Osnabrück, Germany plant. The former Karmann plant has a long history of building Porsche models under contract, including the 914 and the 968.