* S.Africa sales beat Middle East sales
* Centres in Angola, Nigeria, Ghana
By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 7 Luxury sports car maker
Porsche is looking for investors to set up showrooms and service
centres across Africa to increase sales on the rapidly growing
continent, it said on Thursday.
South Africa is already the luxury marque's biggest market
in its 19-country Porsche Middle East & Africa region, beating
Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, Porsche said.
The Dubai-based regional unit, its fourth-largest subsidiary
globally, already has centres in Angola, Nigeria and Ghana,
Public Relations Manager Anja Wood told Reuters.
"We have long-term committed customers over there, who buy a
Porsche and don't change again from the brand. It's really the
fascination with Porsche that works over there in a very good
way for us," she said of South Africa.
"We don't expect a second South Africa in the African
continent. We are careful with our wishes and future planning,
but we want to increase our presence because we want to make
cars available to people where we are not yet present."
In the first nine months of this year, Porsche sold 1,800
cars in South Africa, 50 percent more units than a year ago and
a fifth of all units delivered by the company in the region.
It sold 8,719 new cars in the region, which includes India
and Pakistan, 38 percent more than the previous year.
Stuttgart-based Porsche helped prop up parent Volkswagen
nine-month profit after its sales jumped 15 percent.
Slumping auto demand in core European markets, where VW
sells almost 40 percent of its models, has caused sales in the
debt-stricken region to drop for seven straight quarters.
On the other hand, Africa's ultra-wealthy class is
burgeoning as economies flourish and newly found natural
resources catapult thousands into the super-rich class, drawing
foreign companies to the previously ignored continent.
Africa's top 10 countries ranked by millionaires are
expected to have 178,800 dollar millionaires over the next seven
years, 37 percent more than in 2012, according to a report by
London-based New World Health earlier this year.
Although off a relatively low base, Africa has had growth
rates second only to Asia. Many African countries are embarking
on projects to improve infrastructure and increase energy
production, which are in turn attracting inward investment.
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura, Editing by Patrick Lannin)