In the USA, your sales fell by 24 percent to below 20,000 units in the 2009 calendar year; at the same time, the auto industry speaks of a ray of hope on the horizon. How does that fit together?
Berning: D he angle of inclination with which sales are picking up again is flatter than hoped . In the USA - our largest market worldwide - we are currently only seeing a sideways movement, for example. This is shown very clearly by the December sales, which have remained almost at the previous year's level. The 'Cash for Clunkers' scrappage bonus was a little flash in the pan that burned for just two months - but not for premium brands.
Then the hope rests on other important markets - what about the world ?
Berning: In Germany, I expect a slight recovery in our segment and a higher level of sales than in the last financial year. The Russian market has probably not yet bottomed out. This also applies to some other markets in Eastern and Western Europe, particularly Spain. Asia, on the other hand, and especially China, is developing extremely well, the Cayenne and Panamera models are well received by Asian customers.
Berning: Asians love four-seater cars and still like to be chauffeured. America and Europe, on the other hand, are strong sports car markets that are unfortunately still in decline. But that does not apply to all engines. Because within these segments we were able to further improve the mix in favor of our top models - the new 911 Turbo, GT3 and GT3 RS are running very well. This is just repeating a phenomenon from the last fiscal year: sales are falling, sales are also, but not as strong.
To be precise, the sales decline in the past fiscal year was 26 percent - and the drop in sales only half as high.
Berning: And this trend is continuing. Our top model, the 911 Turbo, did not go on sale in Europe until November 21 and took off immediately. Since the market launch in 2009, we have sold more than 2,500 cars of our three top models - GT3, GT3 RS and 911 Turbo. By the way, we are also the largest manufacturer of pure racing vehicles, the so-called cup vehicles; we are at a level of 160 to 200 units per year, which are only used in racing series. ToThese customers then often drive a racetrack version with road approval, the GT3 RS.
How much will sports car sales come under pressure in 2010?
Berning: 2009 were the Boxster / Cayman thanks to the facelift at the beginning of the year declining. However, our segment shares should improve worldwide in 2010 - both in the financial year and in the calendar year. We have also gained segment shares with the 911er , with a simultaneous segment decline across all brands by almost a quarter of the volume. In 2010 the market should recover, but not to the pre-crisis level by a long way.
And in the times of the climate knock, is your Cayenne off-road vehicle the great glimmer of hope?
Berning: It is a mistake to believe that the Cayenne and good fuel consumption values are incompatible: In addition to the Cayenne Diesel, we will launch a second variant on the market in 2010 with the Cayenne Hybrid introduce, with consumption values of well under ten liters per 100 kilometers. Indeed, the Cayenne segment was our most stable segment in 2009.
How will the Panamera, which you brought on the market at exactly the point in time, when the large luxury sedan segment was under more pressure than probably never before, is developing?
Berning: Worldwide this segment fell by 40 percent in 2009. However, the Panamera is very well received by our customers and is doing very well. We are therefore still sticking to our goals and can certainly imagine selling 20,000 units of our flagship in the first fully available year. We have already delivered 5,000 Panameras worldwide, and we currently have 9,000 new orders - even though so far only our top engine, the eight-cylinder gasoline engine with 400 and 500 hp, is available. By the way, we want to sell ten percent of all Panamera every year in Germany alone.
How many Did you sell Porsche in total in your home market in the 2009 calendar year?
Berning: In Germany we closed 2009 with 15,343 new registrations on par with the previous year . For the coming year, I expect a slight increase in sales in Germany. Although the overall market - as already mentioned - will fall from 3.8 to three million new registrations according to the VDA.
In the pastIn the fiscal year that ended on July 31, you sold 75,200 Porsches worldwide - after 98,600 in the previous year. What can we expect for the current financial year overall?
Berning: Basically, we expect sales to pick up in the course of 2010. Just the new Panamera is based on ours Assessment ensure that our sales figures not only stabilize, but also increase slightly overall.
Which product impulses do you want to set in 2010?
Berning: The new Boxster Spyder , that we presented at the LA Auto Show in December will go on sale in February 2010. The car has been overwhelmingly received and given the mid-engine series a distinctly positive boost. We are therefore assuming that around 2,000 units, i.e. around ten percent of the Boxster /Cayman annual volume, will be made up of the Spyder in the future. In addition, we continue to work hard on the Panamera and bring more engines onto the market - including a hybrid version.
How do you keep the Cayenne fresh?
Berning: Let yourself to surprise. But what we have already announced is a hybrid variant that we will launch in 2010. We expect a sales share of 15 percent with this model. In addition, the Hybrid increase the social acceptance of the entire series.
How big is your global dealer network now?
Berning: We have a total of 16 own sales companies and regional offices. We want to increase the number of currently 673 independent sales partners to more than 700 by mid-2010. The fact that we did not take our foot off the gas despite the crisis has paid off, especially in growth markets like China.
How are your sales developing in the land of smiles?
Berning: In the past financial year we sold 7,700 Porsches here, and in the current year we will be able to increase this number significantly. And in five years, China will certainly be our second largest market worldwide - ahead of Germany. The USA will certainly remain our number 1 market during this period.
How is the Cayenne Diesel doing?
Berning: In Europe we sold around 6,800 diesel engines in 2009. Outside of Europe we still have dieselnot introduced. And that will certainly not change in the 2010 calendar year. But then I could well imagine expanding the diesel range - geographically and in terms of products - but nothing has been decided yet.
How have your consumption and CO2 fleet values actually developed - and how far can you go improve here?
Berning: In 1994 a 911 Carrera with a 3.6 liter engine and 285 hp consumed 14.4 liters per 100 kilometers. Today's Carrera has 345 hp and consumes 9.8 liters per 100 kilometers. Even the 500 hp 911 Turbo can easily be driven with around eleven liters per 100 km. We are already the cleanest in the sports car segment. Today we are at 283 grams of CO2 per kilometer in the entire fleet and will be around 214 grams in the period up to 2016. A top figure for Porsche.