Thursday, 23 November 2006

Porsche Option Prices

Its a long story, but I've ordered one of these. In 'Carrara white'. Its a Porsche Cayman & its going to be built next month in that well known centre of automotive excellence, Finland.
Now even poverty model Porsche are not cheap. This is the 2.7litre entry level version and costs £36,200. Additionally, "discount" is not a word known to Porsche dealers (or Official Porsche Centres - OPCs), in fact I consider myself lucky to have been offered 'free' (hee hee) overmats.
In fact in the last 10 years, Porsche has recreated itself as the most profitable car company in the world. Evidence of this is the fact that they have just purchased VW - or at least a very large chunk of it.
You can see how Porsche are making money when you take a close look at the numbers on the options sheet. Now its easy to overlook the fact that Porsche obviously spend a lot of costly engineering money on the oily bits under the car you don't normally see, but a 'basic' specification car is really, really basic. It doesn't even have the sort of nice-to-haves you'd expect on a Toyota at 1/2 the price.
As a result, its very easy to get carried away with the options list, and before you know it, you've just added 20% or 30% to the price of your car. EVO magazine just tested a £36k Cayman 2.7 that had a £47k on the road cost. And they castigated it because it didn't have the (optional) close ratio 6 speed gearbox. The full size 997 is worse, someone I know added £18k to the basic £65k price of a new 'S'.
To give you some idea of what I mean; here are some choice selections from the Cayman options list:
  • Metallic paint: £570
  • New fangled windscreen wiper that goes on the back window (shock!): £250
  • Even more fangled air-conditioning that keeps the temperature where you set it: £308
  • A £300 SatNav system nicely fitted into the dashboard: £1921
  • A nice steering wheel with smooth leather that has controls for the SatNav: £471>
  • A little electric stop watch sitting on top of the dash and an additional bit of ECU mapping: £507
  • Seats which are leather (on the facings only) and not plastic: £729
  • Electrical adjustment for your leather seats: £1006
  • Some heating for your electrical leather faced seats: £269
  • Some more leather, this time on the centre console behind the gearlever: £563
  • I>Faux carbon-fibre trim around your speedo and your nice integrated sat nav: £903 >A nice stereo with lots of speakers: £859
  • Saving your friendly OPC the trouble of collecting the car from the factory (for two): £960
There you go, over £9k worth of 'extras' and they don't even deliver it to you door. I'd like to point out that I didn't fall into this trap myself and was pretty restrained. I'm also pretty sure the more expensive cars in the range actually make Porsche even more money, so at least on that level my cheap Cayman is better value than a new 997 Carrera turbo at nearly 3 times the price.
That OPC had better ease my pain when it comes to hand over the final cheque!

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