* New Macan compact SUV to drive sales
* Macan to become Porsche's top-seller in 2015 -IHS
* Porsche must not over expand -labour chief
By Andreas Cremer
LEIPZIG, Germany, Feb 11 Porsche
expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars
next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled, as the
brand keeps pushing into sport-utility vehicles, Chief Executive
Matthias Mueller said.
"The target is achievable in 2015 provided there are no
disruptions and that markets continue to develop positively,"
Mueller said on Tuesday after a ceremony to open the brand's
enlarged factory near the eastern German city of Leipzig.
Volkswagen-owned Porsche is entering the lucrative segment
of compact SUVs with its new Macan model, which has already sold
out about eight months of production ahead of its arrival at
German dealerships on April 4, sales chief Bernhard Maier said.
The Macan, which competes with BMW's X3 model and
the Mercedes-Benz GLK, will replace the more roomy
Cayenne SUV as Porsche's top-selling model next year, research
firm IHS Automotive said, pegging 2015 Macan sales at 81,025
units compared with 70,055 for the Cayenne.
Porsche originally set the 200,000 sales goal for 2018 when
parent VW is aiming to overtake Toyota and General
Motors as the world's biggest carmaker. CEO Mueller has
been saying for months that the goal could be met earlier.
Porsche works council chief Uwe Hueck hailed the Macan as
worthy addition, though warned that the iconic brand, which
advertises as "manufacturer of exclusive premium cars," does not
over expand in the push for volume.
"We must take those warnings (of over stretching the brand's
identity) serious, one can't ignore them," Hueck told Reuters on
"We must ensure that the Porsche myth is preserved. Whether
this is the case with 200,000 or 250,000 units is something we
will have to look at," said Hueck, who also sits on the
sports-car maker's supervisory board.
($1 = 0.7327 euros)
(Editing by William Hardy)