Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG finds itself on a consistent growth course in Middle East markets. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Stuttgart-based producer of sports cars, saw this for himself during an information gathering visit to the region in the middle of March. The occasion for the Porsche CEO’s one week long trip that took him to Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Lebanon was the opening of several new Porsche Centres. In addition, Wiedeking met with government officials such as the Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser M. Al Sabah, the Abu Dhabi Minister of Amiri Affairs Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed as well as the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad El Sanioura for discussions on economic development in the region.
Founded in 1999, the Porsche Middle East and Africa sales subsidiary with headquarters in Dubai that currently supports 19 Porsche Centres in 17 markets will deliver at least 4,500 new cars in the current 2005/06 fiscal year. “In the first sixth months of this fiscal year sales were once again clearly over the high level of the same period in the previous year and our order books are well filled”, reported Deesch Papke, Managing Director of Porsche Middle East and Africa during Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking’s visit to the region. This places the Middle East in fifth place in terms of the company’s international sales statistics after North America, Germany, Great Britain and Italy.
Growth driver is the sporty Cayenne all-terrain vehicle whose sales figures have more than sextupled since its launch in the middle of 2003 from around 500 to an anticipated 3,200 units by the end of this fiscal year. Sales of classic sports cars have also developed positively: In the 1999/2000 fiscal year, a total of 550 units of the 911 and Boxster series were delivered. In the current fiscal year, it will be significantly more than 1,200 units. Added to these are 55 of the high performance sports car, the Carrera GT. All together, this means that Porsche Middle East and Africa’s total sales have increased by a factor of nearly nine in only six years.
After his discussion with government heads and ministers as well as Porsche importers Ali Bebehani (Kuwait), Salman Darwish (Qatar), Ahmed Al Dhahry (Abu Dhabi) and Assaad Raphael (Lebanon), Wiedeking showed himself to be confident that Porsche would continue to profit from the dynamic economic development in the Arab Emirates: “The Middle East is a growth region with strong potential. Assuming that the geo-political situation remains stable on the whole, Porsche will use its chances and continue to expand here in close co-operation with its motivated sales partners“. The Chairman of the Porsche AG Executive Board announced that the expansion of the existing sales and service network and gaining new markets would be decisively advanced.
“With our current model range, we are very well positioned in this market region today“, explained Wiedeking at the end of his trip. “Above all, our sporty all-terrain vehicle the Cayenne enjoys extremely high demand here. And with our future fourth model series, the four-door sports coupe Panamera, as of 2009 we will once again significantly expand our customer base in the Middle East”.