Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, does not see itself impacted by the intention of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to abolish the much-cited tax privilege for heavy-duty off-road vehicles in Germany. It is true that the Cayenne – although classified as a car – can be registered as a light commercial vehicle in Germany due to its maximum gross vehicle weight of more than 2,800 kilograms. But as all Cayenne models are fitted only with gasoline engines, there are only slight tax advantages for their owners – unlike diesel off-road vehicles – if they are classified as a light truck. In this case the disadvantages predominate because a Cayenne registered as a light truck must have a technical test every year. Moreover, light trucks may not be used with trailers at the weekend. According to the Federal Office for Motor Traffic of the approx. 8,000 Cayenne vehicles registered in Germany as of April 2004, only four of them were registered as light trucks.
Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, CEO at Porsche AG: "The result of the previous regulation was that competition was distorted in favor of vehicles with diesel engines. We thus welcome the intention of the Minister of Transport to abolish this privilege." The Stuttgart-based manufacturer of sports cars is not thinking of developing a diesel engine. "Due to the deployment of three-way catalytic converter drive units, gasoline engines have unparalleled environmental compatibility. Moreover, we are of the opinion that – in terms of consumption – the gasoline engine has more development potential than the diesel engine," stated Wiedeking. It was only due to a policy of subsidies that the diesel engine had been able to garner any significant market share in Europe. In the USA and Japan on the other hand, the market share of the diesel engine was of the order of one percent.