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Porsche Sets Global Sales Record, Despite U.S. Downturn

image 2009 Porsche 911 with direct injectionPorsche had record worldwide sales in its most recent fiscal year despite a falloff in U.S. sales.

Worldwide unit sales grew 1.2 percent to 98,652, in the fiscal year ended July 31, the company said on Oct. 1. Revenue increased 1.3 percent from the year-ago period, to 7.46 billion euros, or about $10.5 billion at the current exchange rate.

In its understated way, Porsche noted a "general lack of buoyancy in the economic environment." That's especially true in the United States, where economic conditions have grown even worse since the end of Porsche's fiscal year. That includes the current financial industry crisis which strikes some of Porsche's well-heeled customers on Wall Street.

This calendar year, Porsche's U.S. sales were down 17 percent through August, to 19,618. For the month of August, U.S. sales were down 44.9 percent from the year-ago month, according to AutoData.

The picture was better for the fiscal year. For the 12 months ended July 31, sales in North America were down only 3.1 percent, to 32,533, the company said. "Porsche has long been prepared for a possible economic crisis in the U.S.A. and has made substantial reductions in its warehouse stocks there," the company said. Contrary to the trend in the market, U.S. sales for Porsche's SUV model, the Cayenne, were up 3.8 percent to 8,219, calendar year to date. Sales are down for all of Porsche's car models, including the flagship 911, which was down 45.5 percent year to date.

Porsche has great expectations for a new generation of direct-injection gasoline engines, which generate more power with no increase in fuel consumption. The Cayenne got the new engines first, which helped Cayenne sales rise while other SUVs fell.

Worldwide, Cayenne sales jumped 34 percent to a record 45,478, for the fiscal year ended July 31.

The 911 gets the new engines for the 2009 model year. Cars equipped with the new engines went on sale in the U.S. market on Sept. 25.

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