Judging from preliminary results, Porsche reported at its annual general meeting that sales fell to about $3.9 billion for the first half of its fiscal year beginning August 1, a 14 percent decline from that period one year ago. Judged by sales volume, the decline represents a 27 percent drop to 34,000 vehicles. Porsche is waiting for Volkswagen to release its earnings in March before releasing their own official report.
Recently Porsche enjoyed huge increases in profit; their last full fiscal year, ending July 31, saw net profit of 2.2 billion euros greater than the fiscal year prior, a roughly 50 percent increase.
2010 Porsche PanameraEnlarge Photo
In response to slackening demand for its products, Porsche does plan measures such as reducing the number of days worked at its main plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany. Specifically, that plant will operate for 19 fewer days this summer. Nonetheless, CEO Wendelin Wiedeking claims that an overarching, long-term shorter hours program is not currently on the horizon.
Porsche is probably thanking its lucky stars that it is a 50.8-percent shareholder in VW AG, the automotive group that seems to do nothing but grow despite what many are terming the worst auto market since the Great Depression (so, basically, the worst auto market ever). Despite costs associated with taking ever larger shares of VW stock, buying into the Wolfsburg-based VW seems a smart move for Porsche who makes mainly niche and high-priced luxury vehicles. Porsche still fully intends to attain 75 percent ownership in VW sometime in 2009.
Wiedeking hinted that Porsche is prepared for tough economic times: "we always produce one car less than the market needs."
[source: Detroit News]