“The Cayenne has always been a major draw for our brand – it has brought many new customers and fans from all over the world to Porsche over the past 20 years,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing. Porsche had to make some big decisions in the mid-1990s in order to secure its long-term economic success. At the beginning of the decade, the company found itself in one of the most significant economic crises in its history: it was in the red and delivered only 23,060 cars in the 1991/92 financial year. With the Boxster, launched in 1996, Porsche began to manoeuvre its way out of its slump. But it quickly became clear to the management that the legendary 911 and the new mid-engined model alone would not be able to lead the company into a secure future. Plans for a ‘third Porsche’ began to take shape, albeit initially without a firm decision on the segment.
On the recommendation of the US sales organisation, the company opted for an off-road vehicle instead of the people-carrier/MPV that was also under consideration. This type of vehicle was particularly on trend in North America – Porsche’s largest market at the time. CEO Wendelin Wiedeking had also set his sights on the emerging Asian market. Ambitions were high right from the start: Porsche was not content merely to build a sporty SUV consistent with the brand, but aimed to give the top competitors in the off-road segment a run for their money.
For Porsche, the Cayenne has created the economic basis for sustainable success without compromising the motorsport-based values of the sports car brand. “With the Cayenne, we have succeeded for the first time in successfully transferring the Porsche legend to a completely new market segment,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, at the world premiere of the third generation on the roof of the Porsche Museum in 2017. “Our sports car in the SUV segment has proven to be a bestseller and growth engine since 2002. And that’s not all. The Cayenne has opened the door to many new markets for Porsche and made a significant contribution to the internationalisation of our sales network.”