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Six quick questions - Michael Winkler, Porsche


1. What is the relevance of Porsche in 2006?

"Porsche is about fun, entertainment, and self reward for hard work."

2. So they are not just for people who cannot drive and have too much money?

"It's those three headlines."

3. What about the cars themselves? You now have the broadest range and a lot of people say the best cars.

"What has come to fruition now is the reward for us in the resurrection of the company since the early 1990s.

"The Boxster saved us from becoming dependent on somone else. We then had Cayennne which allowed us to re-invest in the broadest sports car range we have ever had.

"I think we can now say we have a very broad business plan which means we can weather the ups and downs in the segments in which we play. To some degree, you can say that we spent the last 13 years since 1993 in a fundamental restructure and a new strategic outlook which allows us to have some fun again and occupy some of the small niches in the market."

4. For people who don't know what is the price of a Porsche in 2006?

"The range starts in Australia at $107,500 for the Boxster 2.7 and goes up to $327,000 for the 911 Turbo which we are now launching.

"The Cayman S is from $148,500 and the Cayenne four-wheel drive is from $129,000."

5. How many cars are you selling in Australia and what is a typical customer?

"I think it depends on the segment, We have some customers who come and go out of the sporty sedan segments and sports coupe segments and to some degree still the competition for our cars lies within the other choices with that much money involved. So that might be an investment, a beach house, a boat or another hobby. "Having said all that, the customer remains a 40-year-old entrepreneur who has had their own business for 20 years. So they have paid off the house, put aside money for the kids education and now decided to reward themselves, whether it's a man or a woman."

6. So what is the heart of a porsche today and do you ever see it changing.

"The heart of a Porsche is a sports car. Full stop. And that won't change.

"How do you define a sports car? It has to do with simple, innovative solutions to technical questions. It has to do with agility, honesty in handling, "I suppose really, the sum of what you experience is more than the sum of the parts in the car. There is no faking it with electronic gadgets and very, very clearly the engineers have put themselves into the cars.

"The life motive, if you like, is than anything which is done to the cars must result in better lap times during test runs on the Nurburgring test track in Germany. "I could go on and on. There are many things in Australia that we don't talk enough about, like the environmental friendliness, the fuel economy, the safety.

"Even with the Cayenne, you only have to pitch it against the direct competition in the market around any corner in the world and you get your answer on whether it is a sports car."

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