Is a Trabant an exclusive car purely because it was built so long ago and was so flimsily made in the first place that there are now almost none left on our roads?
Is a Mahindra Indian Chief an exclusive car in the UK because its importer gave up quite early on in the game, meaning just half a handful ever made it to these shores in the first place?
And is the FSO Polonez now an exclusive automobile because there are now just two examples left in the whole world, the rest having been left to rot in fields on the outskirts of Gdansk?
The answer to all of the above, I’m fairly sure, is no. None of these decrepit old motor cars could ever be classed as exclusive. Rare maybe, but exclusive? No. Never were. Never will be. Amen.
Porsches, on the other hand, are – most people would surely agree – exclusive. But is there a point at which Porsches will no longer be considered exclusive if, as seems to be the case post-Macan, there are close to 200,000 of them being sold around the globe each year? And is a BMW still classed as an exclusive car given that some 1.66 million examples were sold globally in 2013?
BMW is still a highly desirable car brand, yes, but I’m not sure it can be considered exclusive any longer. But for the time being Porsche just about remains on the right side of the fence, and in order to stay there Porsche’s chief brain-boxes have come up with a formula.
Which is this: at the moment Porsche sells just under 130,000 cars a year globally, which represents but a tiny percentage of the 80 million world wide annual car market.
But as that worldwide car market grows thanks to continued expansion in China, Brazil, India and so on – some analysts predict that global sales might reach as many as 100 million by 2018 – Porsche’s percentage of that market can, and will, increase by the same proportion without affecting the brand’s exclusivity.
These are not my thoughts but those of Porsche’s head of marketing, Berhard Maier, who was rather keen to express how Porsche WILL remain an exclusive brand in the future, despite the new Macan adding 50,000 units a year to the sales figures.
“Porsche will always build one car less than the market demands,” he said at the Macan’s launch earlier this week.
Only time will tell whether the perception of Porsche’s exclusivity will remain intact when, not if, the company sails through the 200,000 cars a year barrier.
But for the time being, Porsche gets the benefit of the doubt. Unless, of course, you disagree?