Porsche popularity surges

Sales of Porsche cars have soared, reflecting a resurgence in the popularity of fast cars and helping the German manufacturer to slash its losses. The company broke even in the final six months of last year after recording a net loss of DM114m (£50m) in the 1993 period.

Despite the strong mark, sales in the half-year to January rose from 7,033 to 10,043, with Porsche seeing a good export performance. The company said it expected to break even in the year to July, against a net loss of DM150.2m last time.

The German market is still the biggest for Porsche, but US sales continue to grow and now account for a third of turnover. American sales doubled to 3,293 from 1,746.

The company made revenues of DM1.188bn for the six months and forecasts DM2.5bn of sales for the year.

The results reflect the trend among sports and luxury car makers. Jaguar saw sales rise 30 per cent in 1995, with a surge in Germany of 83 per cent and a doubling in sales in Japan.

With UK sales of luxury cars rising 11 per cent this year, they have outperformed the rest of the market by 4 per cent. Ian Wheeler, finance director of luxury car dealer Pendragon, explained the rise. "In the early 1990s this part of the industry was suffering the most, and now it is increasing the most."

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