* New roadmap may run until 2023 - sources
* Say top-level talks may yield decision on 6th model
* Union says expansion must not hurt "Porsche myth"
By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN, Feb 13 Porsche's top
managers will soon be drawing up a new expansion plan stretching
as far as five years beyond existing targets as the carmaker
comes within reach of a 200,000-sales goal, sources familiar
with the matter said.
A growing push into sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), spurred
by the new Macan model which has sold out eight months of
production before hitting German dealerships in April, may push
Porsche sales to that level in 2015, three years earlier than
targeted, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said on Tuesday.
Porsche's seven-member management board is pondering a new
roadmap that might stretch until 2023, two sources said on
Thursday. Porsche's existing "Strategy 2018", drawn up in 2011,
also lays out a profit margin of more than 15 percent. Porsche's
nine-month margin stood at 18 percent.
A Porsche spokesman said senior management was talking about
its longer-term course, but declined to be more specific.
Stuttgart-based LBBW analyst Frank Biller said, "Porsche is
aiming to grow profitably. Preserving the brand's exclusivity is
key, so any move on investments and products must be gauged very
Growth and profits at Porsche, bought by VW in 2012, are a
major part of efforts to surpass Toyota and General
Motors as the world's No. 1 carmaker by volume no later
Porsche accounted for more than a fifth of VW group's 8.56
billion euros ($11.63 billion) in nine-months operating profit
last year, though it sold only 1.6 percent of group vehicles.
Bolstered by its alliance with Europe's largest carmaker,
Porsche sales may rise 15 percent to 233,645 cars and SUVs by
2018, from an estimated 203,171 this year, according to research
firm IHS Automotive.
Talks on strategy may yield a decision this year on a
possible sixth model line, one source said. Porsche has said a
smaller version of its four-door Panamera coupe would be one
option to expand its lineup.
A plant near the eastern German city of Leipzig will be
expanded further, the source said. Porsche this week celebrated
enlargement of the plant after spending 500 million euros on
body and paint shops to build at least 50,000 Macans per year.
Booming demand for SUVs may push the share of luxury
four-by-fours of overall Porsche sales to 63 percent by 2018
from 47 percent last year, IHS said, thanks to the new Macan
which will compete with BMW's X3 model and the
But the steady push for volume does not thrill everyone at
Porsche which advertises itself as a "manufacturer of exclusive
"We must ensure that the Porsche myth is preserved," Porsche
works council chief Uwe Hueck told Reuters. "Whether this is the
case with 200,000 or 250,000 units is something we will have to
look at," said Hueck who sits on Porsche's supervisory board,
referring to strategy talks with management.
The brand, the product of Porsche's racing heritage and its
911 two-seater, is the main reason for buying a Porsche, Stefan
Bratzel, head of the Centre of Automotive Management near
"Expanding the lineup on the fringes of the pricing range
always implies the risk of overexpanding the brand," Bratzel
said. "That burdens the image of core products."
Porsche Chief Executive Matthias Mueller, the inventor of
the Macan, dismissed concerns that the SUV offensive bears risks
for the brand's identity.
Even with Macan sales added, the share of Porsche deliveries
of growing passenger-car sales worldwide will stay at about 0.3
percent, according to Mueller.
"The high level of exclusivity of our brand and products
will be lastingly ensured," he said.
($1 = 0.7359 euros)
(Editing by Louise Ireland)