We’ve written before that China is pushing past the U.S. as the world’s biggest auto market. With most all the other home markets tumbling, hope for the industry is focusing on China, where car sales may surpass 10 million units this year.
The Shanghai Motor Show has now come to represent something of a default market for the industry, with 13 new models unveiled and all major manufacturers represented. While Porsche grabbed headlines with its debut of the Panamera (its first sedan, above), other makes have come forward—or at least teased, as Jaguar did with the XJ (not to be formally shown until July in England). The best they could do was this plan-view photo which shows little more than a panoramic top.
But Porsche has been getting all the press with the Panamera, particularly since the company says it expects to sell 20,000 this model year. (If you contemplate buying one in China, with import and other taxes the turbo V8 will set you back 2.5 million yuan or $366,000, according to the NY Times. Prices here for the “entry-level” model, with Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter 300-bhp six, start at $89,000.) Still, the company has cultivated a strong presence in China since 2001 and, despite that country’s trend to small, fuel-miserly cars, there will be some luxo buyers out there who will surely hit on this machine.
The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article on how Porsche has kept its head above water by teaming with VW (in which it holds a majority of shares), reducing its fixed costs by outsourcing to that firm, and making forays into China. It seems as if most other carmakers are trying to steal the Asian page from the Porsche playbook.
What’s your guess? Will Porsche sell 20,000 Panameras, and where will they be sold?