Volkswagen and Porsche recorded total profits of £1.7 billion in the first half of 2008, despite the global recession.
According to the giant German car maker, Volkswagen made a 2.4 per cent profit margin on its car sales, while Porsche AG made an industry-leading 10.3 per cent.
However, the huge financial shock of Porsche’s abortive attempt to take over the Volkswagen Group is reflected in the company’s individual accounts.
Porsche SE, the holding company that was created for the VW takeover, lost £3.9bn. In the previous financial year Porsche SE made £7.7bn profit. Porsche is now on course to lose its independence and is being absorbed by the wider VW Group.
Despite Porsche’s operating-level profitability, the company saw sales crash 24 per cent, to 75,238 vehicles. Porsche shifted 27,070 911s (down 14 per cent) and 13,140 Boxsters and Caymans, down 40 per cent. However, Porsche blames the crash in mid-engined sales on new models being introduced last February.
Porsche’s best-seller was again the Cayenne SUV; 35,265 units were shifted, 25 per cent down on the previous financial year. The company took a big hit in North America, where sales fell to 19,024 units, down from 31,818 in the previous year.
Interestingly, Porsche revealed that just 2146 Boxsters were built at the Zuffenhausen plant in Stuttgart. Valmet in Finland built 12,257 cars for Porsche, including the majority of Boxsters and all Cayman production.
Porsche AG boss Michael Macht revealed at the financial conference that the Cayenne petrol hybrid would be launched next year; it should be capable of averaging 31mpg. He also confirmed a hybrid version of the Panamera.
Macht emphasised the success of the joint project that produced the Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 SUVs and suggested that the merger of VW and Porsche will build on this cooperation, while protecting Porsche’s individuality.
"Two things are absolutely clear: First, a Porsche always remains a Porsche. Which is precisely what our customers will see, feel and sense when sitting in one of our cars. Second, Porsche will always stand for core competence in areas such as driving dynamics, design, and power units," Macht said.