Nearly Half of the Vehicles Sold by Porsche in August Weren’t SUVs

Porsche revealed a new, third-generation Cayenne on a new platform late last month, but the U.S. arrival of the third version of Porsche’s original SUV won’t take place until the second half of 2018.

While the new Cayenne will be sold in some markets as a MY2018 vehicle, the 2018 Cayenne on this side of the Atlantic is the outgoing Cayenne. Yes, that Cayenne, the Cayenne that’s suffering from a sharp sales decline.

In August 2017, the Cayenne’s gradual and not entirely unpredictable old-age decline was matched to a sudden downward shift from its smaller sibling, as well. Macan sales plunged 29 percent last month. Cayenne volume was down 28 percent. Jointly, the duo lost 1,003 sales, year-over-year.

You know what that means. The overwhelming majority, the lion’s share, most, nearly half, more than a third of the vehicles sold in Porsche’s U.S. showrooms in August 2017 were sports cars. Yes, Porsche still builds sports cars, rather decent ones, in fact. And in August, Porsche’s sports car sales were very healthy indeed.

Inventory and availability were apparently to blame for the particularly rapid decline in Porsche’s utility vehicle volume in August.

“These results reflect delays in our delivery of 2018 model year vehicles,” Porsche Cars North America press release says, “many of which are still in the final regulatory approval process.”

The Macan remained Porsche’s best-selling model — it accounts for nearly four-in-ten Porsches sold in the U.S. so far this year — but the 29-percent decline compared with August 2016 was just its sixth monthly drop in 28 months. Nearly 54,000 Macans have been sold in America since the entry-level Porsche’s 2014 Q2 launch. Porsche currently has roughly one month of Macan supply in an industry that considers two months’ supply normal.The Cayenne, meanwhile, has been suffering from declining sales throughout 2017. In fact, Cayenne sales haven’t risen on a year-over-year basis since November of last year. It’s not a surprising outcome for a model that’s entering its eighth model year. And declines will be less surprising now that consumers have been made aware of just what the third-gen Cayenne brings to the table.

Regardless of the reasons, Porsche generated only 53 percent of its U.S. volume with utility vehicles in August 2017, down from nearly two-thirds during the first seven months of the year and more than two-thirds in August 2016. While overall Porsche sales declined, Porsche dealers responded to what could have been an even harsher overall drop with improved sales across the entire passenger car lineup.

For the new Porsche Panamera, the 25-percent increase last month produced the model’s best August since 2012. Porsche 718 Cayman sales rose above 300 units for just the second time in the last year. Porsche Boxster volume grew 12 percent, rising for just the second time in a year.

Most importantly, Porsche 911 volume jumped above 1,000 units — rising 36 percent to 1,016 sales — for the first time since April of last year; just the fifth time in five years.

See? Porsche still sells sports cars. You just need a temporary slowdown in Porsche SUV sales to notice.

[Images: Porsche]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.


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