In a move sure to upset… well, everyone, management axed a recently proposed entry-level Porsche roadster to be slotted beneath the Boxster in the marque’s lineup.
For budgeting aficionados of the driver’s car, this is obviously heartbreaking news. Yours truly is pouring the Scotch as he writes. That said, it’s not entirely surprising.
Porsche has had the idea to introduce an entry-level roadster more than just once over the past three decades, and every time, the brand has decided not to move forward.
Part of this refusal to offer an entry-level Porsche is perception. “We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche,” said CEO of Porsche Cars North America Detlev von Platen. “Our entry model is our pre-owned program.”
A tad elitist, but we get your point; an entry-level Porsche would fly in the face of everything the brand stands for in terms of heritage and exclusivity. Of course, one could argue that a Porsche crossover SUV accomplishes the same.
Another part of the refusal to move on an entry-level Porsche is finance. Porsche is aggressively ramping up their sales, and according to von Platen, thus far the effort “is better than on track. The conquest rate so far is 60 percent, and we expect that to increase when availability is higher.” And if sales of the current lineup are already ahead of expectations, why bother introducing a new entry-level Porsche with (presumably) a slim profit margin?
Still, we would have loved to see a lithe, nimble, affordable Porsche 718 roadster at dealerships for the 2016 model year. Perhaps our best shot of making that happen is to stop buying every other model in the marque’s lineup.
Now, we’re not advocating a boycott, so much as simply an impromptu cessation of validating Porsche’s current model range with consumers’ purchasing power. That should send a message.