For its first financial results since its IPO a month ago, Porsche is doing very well. Operating income grew 40% in the first nine months of 2022. With a margin approaching 19% (it was 15.5% in the nine months of 2021). Sales of the popular sports car maker rose 2% to 221,500 units. But sales jumped 15.7% thanks to a significant increase in the average selling price of the models. “In a difficult and volatile environment, we demonstrate our ability to operate profitably thanks to particular cost discipline and a favorable average selling price,” said Lutz Meschke, chief financial officer of the Stuttgart manufacturer, in friday
Worth 86 billion euros according to CNBC, Porsche has the luxury of being the first European car market capitalization. And this, while only 25% of its capital was placed on the stock market a month ago… without voting rights! Mercedes-Benz, now separated from its truck branch, is worth only 63 billion, BMW 51.5. Porsche is therefore worth more than the Volkswagen group, which controls it and the capitalization does not exceed 75 billion. We are certainly a long way from Tesla’s 700 billion worth or Toyota’s 225 billion. But Porsche is nevertheless the third largest auto capitalization in the world. Porsche is worth 2.5 times more than Ferrari, another global car nugget listed on the stock exchange in two stages between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016
From 60,946 to 247,900 euros
With a range from 60,946 (718 Cayman) to 247,900 euros (911 Turbo S Cabriolet), Porsche, for the first time, exceeded the bar of 300,000 vehicles sold (301,915) last year. The prancing horse firm (like Ferrari!) even delivered 41,300 units of its first 100% electric Porsche. The brand “has a long-term ambition to achieve an operating profitability of more than 20%”, indicated in July to its investor boss Oliver Blume, who by now is also the chairman of the management board of the Volkswagen group.
The sports car specialist has until now been fully owned by Volkswagen, itself controlled by a financial holding company, named… Porsche SE, in which the founding Porsche-Piëch family has an absolute majority of voting rights (54%) . The capital of the Porsche AG brand is divided into 50% preference shares, which offer a higher dividend but no voting rights, and 50% ordinary shares with voting rights. Institutional investors can subscribe up to 25% of the preferred shares, or 12.5% of the capital. Listing on the stock market should make it possible to find financing to feed the investments of the fundamental energy transformation underway. 80% of the manufacturer’s vehicles will be fully electric by 2030, Oliver Blume actually promised. At the same time, the Volkswagen Group approved the sale of “25% plus one share” of ordinary shares of Porsche AG to the controlling holding company Porsche SE. A sleight of hand that further strengthens the control of the Porsche-Piëch family, who suddenly hold a blocking minority in the firm originally founded as a design office by their ancestor Ferdinand Porsche in 1931.
Launched in 1948
The Porsche brand proper was launched in Gmünd, Austria in 1948 by engineer and racing driver Ferry Porsche, son of Ferdinand. This was the first Porsche, the 356, of which Georges Pompidou, Prime Minister of General De Gaulle and future President, owned a copy. 77,000 units of this model were produced until the early 1960s. The 356 shared the rear-engined architecture of the Volkswagen Beetle, designed by Ferdinand Porsche as a “people’s car” for the Third Reich. Its successor, the Porsche 911, born in 1963, would use the same configuration. She would become the most famous sportswoman in the world, giving the company access to international fame. Under various successive bodies, the 911 is still in the catalog. The 911? Another family affair as Ferdinand Alexander, Ferry’s son, designed it.
This irreplaceable coupé – and convertible – almost disappeared in the 1970s, when Porsche convinced itself that it needed a more up-to-date model. But, not daring to disappoint the small number of loyal fans, the brand finally decided to continue the legend. However, in the early 1990s, the crisis came. Porsche is about to collapse in the face of competition from Toyota or Nissan sports cars, which are cheaper and more reliable. The company then had to update its facilities and reinvent its industrial processes, while remaining faithful to the 911. However, Porsche would understand by the end of the 1990s that new car concepts were needed if it wanted to achieve the status of the main manufacturer. .
The SUV revolution
It would be the SUV revolution with the big Cayenne from 2002, developed alongside the Volkswagen Touareg, then the smaller Macan, cousin of the Audi Q5 from the same Volkswagen group, in 2014. Great. The Macan and the Cayenne are the best-selling models, with 88,360 and 83,000 units respectively in 2021. However, the 911 remains the company’s fourth most “popular” model (38,500 in 2021).
Also this Wednesday, the Volkswagen group, parent company of Porsche AG, announced a significant drop in its deliveries of 13% to 6 million units in nine months. However, turnover increased by 8.8%. The margin for the first nine months of the year came out to 8.4% (against 7.5% last year). A few days earlier, Mercedes-Benz posted an operating margin for its passenger cars of 15% over nine months.