While it’s an oft-repeated truism that during times of recession, it’s the Primarks and the Pradas who flourish while anything in between suffers, it’s a sign of the times when even the higher end of the market is beginning to feel the squeeze.
It’s with heavy hearts, then, that Smarta reports the plight of German luxury car manufacturer Porsche, which yesterday revealed sliding sales figures on its starter model, the £33,000 Boxster.
Sales of the car, known as the beginners’ Porsche, slipped by almost two thirds in 2008, while the company’s total sales were down nearly a quarter on the year before. By contrast competitor Ferrarri, which produces few models priced at less than £100,000, saw its own sales rise by 2%.
As The Times’ business editor David Wighton pointed out, this may be to do with the type of person who traditionally buys a Boxster. “It’s a ‘cheap’ designer car for aspirers, people whose disposable income rockets up and down with the annual bonus” – in short, then, a car to alleviate the symptoms of a mid-life crisis.
While the lower end of the luxury car market is beginning to feel the pinch, Porsche can at least rest easy in the knowledge that even without the mid-life crisis market, it should keep afloat. As Wighton notes: “The truly obscenely wealthy will make better repeat customers. A wannabe will cherish his red sports car, but a successful footballer will happily wrap the £200,000 machine around a lamppost and then order another one.”
Image from Flickr