Porsche rakes in cash and US consumer awards

Porsche rakes in cash and US consumer awards
Photo: DPA
German sports car maker Porsche received top US consumer ratings on Friday as it reported a jump in sales and retained its status as a leading profit-machine in the global auto industry.

The company ranked first place in the overall rankings for the respected “Initial Quality Study” conducted by the market research institute J.D. Power on the quality of new cars in what it called its most important export market.

The more than 82,000 respondents to the survey on new 2010 models named the 911 sports car first in the “Premium Sporty Car” segment, in addition to ranking it the second-best car in the entire study. Porsche’s new fourth Panamera model line came in third place in the “Large Premium Car” segment.

“The high level of customer satisfaction at Porsche is the result of our consistent quality strategy, from development to production and sales, which we are continually improving,” Michael Macht, President and CEO said in a statement.

Meanwhile the company, which is being taken over by Volkswagen, said operating profit came to €600 million in the period from August through April, the first three quarters in its fiscal year, while sales climbed to €5.22 billion.

Its profit margin remained above 10 percent, meaning it is still one of the most profitable auto manufacturers in the world.

Unit sales were stable meanwhile at 53,605 vehicles, a statement said.

The results concerned Porsche AG, which is 49.9-percent owned by Volkswagen and handles the construction of models such as the 911, Cayenne and new Panamera.

The holding group Porsche SE, which in turn owns 32.2 percent of the shares in Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, marked a pause meanwhile in its debt reduction programme.

On April 30, the holding company had debt of €6 billion, compared with €6.1 billion at the end of January.

When the holding company’s 2008-2009 financial year ended on July 31, it was burdened with €11 billion in debt.

Porsche intends to raise at least €2.5 billion in fresh capital in the first half of 2011, the last stage before the car unit it is taken over by VW and becomes that group’s 10th brand.

VW is expected to pay €3.9 billion for Porsche.

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