“German sports car maker Porsche AG said its U.S sales jumped 21% in 2013 and set a new record of 42,323 vehicles.
While Ford might sell roughly that many pickup trucks in a month, the number is huge for Porsche, which specializes in extremely expensive cars that no one really needs for basic transportation.
The results for individual models also tell a critical story for the company. The Cayenne sport-utility vehicle was the top seller with 18,507 vehicles sold, but the 911sports coupe, which has been the foundation of Porsche’s high-end image and racing provenance since its introduction more than 50 years, accounted for a quarter of overall sales.
The 911 starts at $84,300, but most versions have base prices over $100,000, and the Turbo S Cabriolet model costs $193,900. It is a small, cramped car that, while generally more practical than other exotic sports cars, is arguably more of a toy than transportation.
Still, the 911 outsold Porsche’s lower-priced Boxster and Cayman sports cars, which combined for 7,953 units. The popularity of Porsche’s most expensive models is reminiscent of what is happening in markets for a number of luxury products from clothing to private jets. The costliest planes with the most features and greatest range tend to fare better than smaller, lower-cost versions.
Porsche said it expects favorable market conditions to continue this year, given its range of new products that includes the Macan compact SUV.
“Since introducing 22 new models and variants into the U.S. market in 2013, we are entering the new year with our youngest product line ever,” said Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche’s North American unit. “Thus, we are confident that we can continue writing the success story of Porsche in the U.S. over the next 12 months.””