Porsche sets sales record thanks to China

Strong demand from China pushed sales by German luxury sports car maker Porsche up 17.9 percent to a new record in its 2009/2010 fiscal year, the company said on Wednesday.

Porsche sets sales record thanks to China
Photo: DPA

Porsche, which is being taken over by European car giant Volkswagen, said that preliminary data pointed to sales of €7.79 billion in the year that ended on July 31.

Full results are to be released on October 19, a statement added. The rise in sales was driven by expansion outside the traditional markets of Europe and North America.

As is the case with many luxury automakers, Porsche was boosted by demand in China, where sales leapt by 47.5 percent to 11,724 vehicles.

Worldwide, the company sold 81,850 automobiles for an annualised increase of 8.8 percent, including 20,615 of its latest model, the four-door Panamera.

“Porsche will continue this positive trend in the current fiscal year,” chief executive Michael Macht was quoted as saying.

The company should hit its medium term sales target of 150,000 cars per year “without too much trouble” owing to a new small SUV it is developing with VW, said Frank Schwope, an analyst at the LBBW bank.

Demand has weakened meanwhile for older models such as the 911 and Cayenne sports utility vehicle, though the latter remained Porsche’s most popular vehicle with 29,855 deliveries.

In addition, Schwope warned of “some obstacles along the path to a merger” with VW.

He underscored complaints from US investment funds that seek around two billion dollars in damages from Porsche for alleged stock price manipulation in connection with its failed takeover bid for VW.


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China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as ‘political farce’

China on Tuesday blasted a democracy conference in Copenhagen attended by Taiwan's president and a Hong Kong activist alongside Danish government officials this week, qualifying it a "political farce".

China derides Copenhagen democracy meet as 'political farce'
Demonstrators gathered outside the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Tuesday. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit was held Monday and Tuesday in the Danish capital and organised by the Alliance of Democracies, an organisation targeted by Beijing sanctions in March and founded by former NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In addition to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also participated in the forum by video link, which Beijing said violated “the one-China principle.”

“This summit is a political farce,” the Chinese embassy in Denmark wrote in a statement published on Tuesday. “Inviting those who advocate Taiwan and Hong Kong ‘independence’ to the meeting violates the one-China principle and interferes in China’s internal affairs,” it said.

“Some hypocritical western politicians are good at meddling in other countries’ internal affairs and creating divisions and confrontation in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. They are bound to fail,” it added.

At the conference on Monday, Kofod said it was “deplorable” that Beijing had imposed sanctions on 10 European individuals and organisations in response to EU sanctions on Xinjiang officials over their actions against the Uyghur Muslim minority.

Like most countries, Denmark applies the one-China principle — under which Beijing bars other countries from having simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taipei — though it does maintain relations with Taiwan.

Cut off politically from the rest of China since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the territory is self-governing but is not recognised by
the United Nations.

Beijing considers Taiwan a rebel province that will one day return under its control, by force if necessary.

China’s sabre-rattling has increased considerably over the past year, with fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers breaching Taiwan’s air defence zone on a near-daily basis.

“Our government is fully aware of the threats to regional security, and is actively enhancing our national defence capabilities to protect our
democracy,” Tsai told the conference in a video address on Monday. US President Joe Biden is expected to present his China strategy soon, as
calls mount for him to publicly commit to defending Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.