Bloomberg reports that the best start of year performance for stock markets in almost twenty years puts the world economy on the edge of prosperity.
“The MSCI World Index of stocks in 24 markets rose 5 percent in January, the most since 1994, as individual investors pumped record deposits into mutual funds, U.S. profits increased for an 11th quarter, central banks kept interest rates at record lows and growth from Europe to China improved. The last two times stocks gained this much in January, world gross domestic product expanded at least three times the 2.4 percent that economists forecast for 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”
The report will raise some eyebrows, and perhaps a bit of pointing at the $16 Trillion US debt mountain, but consumer confidence and positive economic framing is critical when selling new cars. Porsche is well placed to attract positively-minded consumers, as the manufacturer prepares its most important new model for decades.
Cayenne has been the number one earner for Stuttgart since launch, and the upcoming Macan will invigorate that trend. Chinese analysts are predicting their home nation as the hotspot for Macan, which enters production later this year.
“The fact that they’re bringing a smaller version of the Cayenne SUV model is something that specifically in China will work quite well,” said Klaus Paur, Shanghai-based global head of automotive coverage at research firm Ipsos. “It is catering to a segment that is fast growing. It is also part of a trend of luxury brands making their cars more accessible.”
“The Macan will have a significant volume impact,” said Helmut Broeker, head of Porsche in China. “I’m confident that China will be the number one market.” Broeker’s bullishness is evident in plans to double Porsche dealer numbers in China from 50 to almost 100 over the next twelve months, and make China the number one Porsche market worldwide.
Amongst potential Macan competitors, Honda has bet on SUVs for a global revival in fortunes, expecting derivatives to help triple global compact sales between now and 2017. Audi and Mercedes have seen SUV sales surge, leading some to mark the demise of the “normal sedan”.
Auto analyst Arndt Ellinghorst at Credit Suisse told the Wall Street Journal: “SUVs don’t have to be huge gas guzzlers. Smaller SUVs run on six or seven liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, comparable with the fuel consumption of compact hatchbacks ten years ago. I think normal sedans are cars from yesterday – SUVs are clearly gaining ground.”
Talk sports cars all you want: Cayenne and Panamera are where this monkey makes its money. I reckon Macan – the best undisguised shot I have yet seen is above – will add to the banana stockpile in volumes Ferry could never have dreamed of. Assuming it’s home to some good engineering, as it should be given the millions of testing kilometres, I think he would like it.