Porsche’s sales increased by 20 per cent to R20,9 billion for the last half of the year and it expects an even better year with the launch of more 911 derivatives, including a range-topping GT3.

German manufacturer Porsche’s sales increased by 20 per cent to R20,9 billion for the last half of the year and it expects an even better year with the launch of more 911 derivatives, including a range-topping GT3.

reports that Porsche’s pre-tax profit for the first half its business of the year rose 18 per cent to R1,7 billion. The German company said it expected to sell about 65 000 vehicles worldwide for the year ending July due to demand for the new Cayenne sport-utility model. It sold 54 234 vehicles the previous year.

Porsche said 911 sales rose about 4,3 per cent to 13 697 vehicles in the first half, sales of the less expensive Boxster fell 8,4 per cent, while 1 510 Cayennes were sold.

Porsche chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking said, however, that a war could affect sales. Consumers may not want to spend money on a new, expensive car during uncertain times. "We expect to post higher pretax profit once again, if the threat of war in the Middle East does not disturb business.

"It is undeniable that an important indicator of the state of our business is US sales. And of course the current fear of war is playing a role in our expectations for sales in the United States."

Some analysts questioned the introduction of the Cayenne, saying that more consumers were moving away from big SUVs, but Wiedeking said it was the right move. "Sportscars too have a life cycle. That was the idea behind the Cayenne. We didn't want to stand on just two legs, but three," he said at a shareholders’ meeting last week.

CARtoday.com reported recently that the next incarnation of Porsche’s road-going GT3 will likely be fitted with an updated VarioCam Plus normally aspirated 3,6-litre boxer engine producing about 283 kW and 380 N.m of torque. The car is expected to produce a 4,7-second zero to 100 km/h time and reach more than 300 km/h.