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I have carefully observed the GT4 process for a long time.

My belief is that this car is a halo car and never meant to sell in large numbers (and to sell the race cars to teams). I formed that opinion talking to people in the business who know more than me. But from looking at the demand and number of disappointed people, I no longer understand the business decision to limit production based upon production capacity. I think maybe they underprojected demand by huge margin.

I’m not so sure they can’t crank up production and just make all the cars they can sell. It's not like they are going to sell 45,000 like the numbers of Macans sold last year. I know some people will say they will eventually make enough for demand minus one. I’m not so sure about that. For example, other cars might make more profit and be more important to them, like a 991.2 GT3, production of the 991.1 GT3RS, or possible production of a GT2 (and GT2RS).


  • If the profit margin is slim or none, then charge a bit more until they make a reasonable profit. If the demand is real and not illusionary, then prospective buyers won’t care. Will another 10K in price really matter? Price always go up. So bump up prices in the Fall.

  • If the car outsells the Caymans S and Cayman GTS combined, then so what? That would send a very strong message that the lesser cars (in terms of performance) are not needed. So what? The market will sort itself out. What company wouldn't want to sell the more expensive car, making more profit, than the base cars if the more expensive models outsell the base cars?

  • Need a 981 halo car? Make the 981.1 GT4RS the halo car.

I do not believe they should make a PDK version because then it will be less “special”. It won't be the same thing. With demand so high now, there is no need to irritate even more potential customers getting in line if the production capacity doesn't exist.

What purpose can it possibly serve to have a large number of unhappy customers?

Why irritate those people, especially if they are coming from other marques and want to buy a Porsche for the first time. Does that make fiscal sense?

Of course, Porsche might have reasons we are not aware of but it would seem to me that they should build every GT4 car they could sell.

Why?


  • The customers would love it.

  • Their profits would rise.

  • and most important, VAG stockholders will love it.

What do you think?

Crank up production or hold production back?
 

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I can't answer your more existential questions. I will, however, put my hand up as someone who currently isn't in the Porsche camp but was drawn to it by this car. If I can't get a GT4 (my deposit was placed the morning of the announcement), Porsche will lose me as a customer. I don't see myself settling for an S or GTS and certainly won't make a lateral move to a 911.
 

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I'm very naive, and here is my take.

Porsche AG (just as anyone else) has limited resources. A large production number on the GT4 would mean either Porsche AG needs to divert resources from regular Cayman productions or overall increase in capacity. This would also create a bigger hype of the car, so that subsequent variants/successors would also be able to create same level of hype/demand from a marketing point of view. Porsche AG may actually not be making that much more money on the GT4 in percentage terms. OR more like they make more by selling two Cayman S cars than one GT4. I would imagine it's much easier to sell two Cayman Ss than one GT4.

I cannot imagine them being in a hurry to increase GT4 sales, as you really are looking at a pretty small population. The idea that it has only manual transmission already chops off a big chunk of buyers. I'm pretty sure more than 50% of 981 Caymans sold nowadays only come with two pedals. There are a lot of people who raved about the GT4, but a lot of them said they won't be placing a deposit for one. Why? Some find it too hardcore, some don't like that it only has manual, some find it unbelievable to spend 100K on a Cayman, and the list goes on. Granted, the GT4 may also attract some customers that standard Caymans were unable to attract. Those who want a more capable mid-engine sportscar with a manual gear box would come take a look. But I can't imagine that to be so overwhelming that Porsche AG would reallocate a significant amount of resources to this.

Anyway ... enough rambling from me
 

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Maybe they really can't. At least not right away...

My understanding is that their GT division is separate from their normal production facilities and can only produce so many cars at a time.

Sure, they could expand, build more factories, hire more workers, buy more equipment, etc... And maybe they will. But all that takes time and possibly comes with certain compromises. Like cars built in new facilities may have green workers that are inexperienced at putting them together and build quality may suffer.

I am sure there is more to the production limits than just arbitrariness...
 
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Porsche doesn't make every part of any car. So it's not a simple issue to increase production. There are suppliers involved for many different parts, certain number of shifts available wherever this is being produced, some parts that are probably pre-bought in limited runs, etc.

I think the original production plan was based on expected demand, which turned out to be low (maybe). They will adjust to that, but it won't be overnight. And with the 981.2 around the corner, it may be the adjustment comes with the 981.2 GT4.

I also think no one knows the real demand here. There is a frenzy to be driving one of these this summer or fall. But by fall, a bunch of these will be sitting in showrooms and by next year anyone who wants one will probably be able to get one. This is even if they don't increase production by much. The hype tends to die down on most things after a few months. So if Porsche is going to learn what the true demand is for this car, it won't be at the height of the hysteria around it. They are smarter than that.


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Certainly the parts are made by guys like TRW etc. But then it's not like the GT4 rolls out of the same assembly line as a regular Cayman S. The guys putting the car together and going through the checks are different -- i.e. Motorsport team. Even the chassis has different welding as well. So it's not like the frame is just taken out of the regular Cayman production line either.

But yes, my take is they don't know the demand for sure. There is a bit of testing water here as well. They would rather lean on the conservative side and have a car with hype and over-demand, instead of a car with over-supply. They can't really afford to over-supply these things as resources are also in need in other parts of the Motorsport division, such as making the GT3 RS etc.
 

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Certainly the parts are made by guys like TRW etc. But then it's not like the GT4 rolls out of the same assembly line as a regular Cayman S. The guys putting the car together and going through the checks are different -- i.e. Motorsport team. Even the chassis has different welding as well. So it's not like the frame is just taken out of the regular Cayman production line either.

But yes, my take is they don't know the demand for sure. There is a bit of testing water here as well. They would rather lean on the conservative side and have a car with hype and over-demand, instead of a car with over-supply. They can't really afford to over-supply these things as resources are also in need in other parts of the Motorsport division, such as making the GT3 RS etc.
I agree. Oversupply is the biggest halo car fail ever. Imagine GT4's sitting on lots with heavy discounts. What is the antonym for "halo"?


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I thought the limit on production was because it was being built in the GT department and that had limited capacity. However, I haven't seen anything on the car that couldn't be built on a production line, so I'm not sure that it really has to be built in the GT department.

I was surprised at how low the price is really, I was expecting a base of $100-110k and even at that price it would have sold more than they currently plan to make.
 

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I agree. Oversupply is the biggest halo car fail ever. Imagine GT4's sitting on lots with heavy discounts. What is the antonym for "halo"?


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The antonym for "halo" is called the "VW Phaeton"....

A technical marvel, no sparing in attention to detail, the pet project of the VW chairman at the time who wanted to build the best big car in the world, and an absolute failure in sales. MSRP started at $95,000 in 2004, can now be had for about $15,000.
 

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Production capacity- this is easily expanded with coachbuilders. Until the new 981, Boxster/Cayman weren't built by Porsche either, they were built by Valmet. They could shift things around if they wanted to but Porsche is very good about controlling production numbers.

Regarding the Phaeton, it was really the poor man's Bentley Continental. The W12 engine was $95k, the base V8 was only around $65k. Nobody wanted to pay that much for a VW but considering the number of 911's Porsche sells, I don't think their customers are that worried about price.
 

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I disagree with a lot of what you wrote.

First on other boards I am shocked at how many first time Porsche buyers are interested in the GT4, is it the price point versus the GT3 or the manual transmission, or fill-in-the-blank. Yet reading that the majority will track it and being their first Porsche the GTS or S would probably test their actual driving skills based on some of the cars they have now. This is almost ridiculous how little respect the 987, 987.2 and the 981's actually got in the press and from the buying public.

Also I for one am tired of this purity argument of the 6 speed, I want it in PDK. I had the one slot and passed on it because of no PDK. If they don't offer it in PDK I will reluctantly move to the GT3.2.

The number seems to be 1200 cars, no one knows if it is all 981.1 or includes the upcoming facelift. Porsche historically has protected Motorsport from over production and keeping demand high. The other issue seems to be dealer relationship or lack thereof, many of these potential buyers are coming from other brands and placing themselves on multiple lists, they will sort out but I believe the loyal buyers that have bought from their dealers previously will be rewarded with allocation, in particular if you were a mid engine buyer in the past...as it should be. Yeah it's harsh for the M3 or Lexus F guy but that's the way it is at those dealerships ( 1M comes to mind) as it should be at the small network of Porsche Dealerships in the US <180.

Keep the quality up and if you don't get one let it be a lesson to stay tuned to this board in the future, I did and placed my deposit 16 months ago...not after the Geneva announcement. Also with the dealer I have bought many cars from.
 

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Well, half the time people who rave about a car may not be buying one. I rave about it, but I ain't buying one. So demand is hard to measure, and there is a lot of inflation in it. Oddly enough, in the city where I live in, 458s / Huracans are on massive waitlists. Even the Macan Ss have a 2 year wait list. But the last week when I checked? The GT4 orderbook isn't even that big. No guarantee on a car, but insiders from the dealer said the demand was much lower than expected and likelihood of getting a GT4 isn't that low if one places a deposit now. So there you go, a city with more Porsches than Civics ... cannot even fill up the GT4 book after a few weeks after the announcement. So net net the demand may not be as high and tight as some would have thought based on all the raving in the Internet.

I would imagine a lot of potential buyers found the manual gearbox as a deal breaker. I mean it's great for me, as I believe manual is the only way to go on a car like this. But there are obviously others who feel the opposite. That wipes out a large chunk of audiences.
 

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I disagree with a lot of what you wrote.

First on other boards I am shocked at how many first time Porsche buyers are interested in the GT4, is it the price point versus the GT3 or the manual transmission, or fill-in-the-blank. Yet reading that the majority will track it and being their first Porsche the GTS or S would probably test their actual driving skills based on some of the cars they have now. This is almost ridiculous how little respect the 987, 987.2 and the 981's actually got in the press and from the buying public.

Also I for one am tired of this purity argument of the 6 speed, I want it in PDK. I had the one slot and passed on it because of no PDK. If they don't offer it in PDK I will reluctantly move to the GT3.2.

The number seems to be 1200 cars, no one knows if it is all 981.1 or includes the upcoming facelift. Porsche historically has protected Motorsport from over production and keeping demand high. The other issue seems to be dealer relationship or lack thereof, many of these potential buyers are coming from other brands and placing themselves on multiple lists, they will sort out but I believe the loyal buyers that have bought from their dealers previously will be rewarded with allocation, in particular if you were a mid engine buyer in the past...as it should be. Yeah it's harsh for the M3 or Lexus F guy but that's the way it is at those dealerships ( 1M comes to mind) as it should be at the small network of Porsche Dealerships in the US <180.

Keep the quality up and if you don't get one let it be a lesson to stay tuned to this board in the future, I did and placed my deposit 16 months ago...not after the Geneva announcement. Also with the dealer I have bought many cars from.
I believe you have things backwards, someone who will track a car would like to have something that is pretty much turn key.

Take a 987/981 and to turn it into a car that will have similar capabilities to a gt4 (without taking into account the engine) and that is anywhere from 15K to 20K in modifications. I know since I had taken that approach for both my 2008 Cayman S Sport as well as my curent Cayman R.

Given that you are not involved in the tracking scene you probably don't have an understanding what experienced folks want in a track car.

My first Porsche happened to be a 996GT3 since my intention was to track the car.

I had no problems buying the first ever generation of GT3 that was introduced in the US so I don't see any issues of why the GT4 should be limited. The GT4 is produced on the standard manufacturing production line, it is just that the components are currently constrained nothing less nothing more. The concept of it been unobtainium is ridiculous.
 

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First on other boards I am shocked at how many first time Porsche buyers are interested in the GT4, is it the price point versus the GT3 or the manual transmission, or fill-in-the-blank. Yet reading that the majority will track it and being their first Porsche the GTS or S would probably test their actual driving skills based on some of the cars they have now. This is almost ridiculous how little respect the 987, 987.2 and the 981's actually got in the press and from the buying public.
I've been involved in the motorsport world since my teens and am finally looking for a car that I can track "out of the box", yet still drive to the track. My current track car is a dual-purpose Miata (street/track), so the normal modification route (gutted interior, rock-hard suspension, etc.) is a no-go. Hell, I even added A/C, since Canadian cars of that vintage typically came without. I'm an instructor with the local HPDE organization and do one or two events (approx. 2 hours of track time each) a month during the warm months, so wear-and-tear is an issue on a modified car. Last fall, I lunched my aftermarket Quaife transmission and I'm still looking for ways to keep the brakes cool (11.75" front rotors are next), plus I can expect a very-expensive engine rebuild if I keep up this pace.

I've long admired the Cayman/Boxster siblings, but was always left with the nagging impression that Porsche was leaving quite a bit on the table (engine, brakes, possibly suspension). The only Porsche that has tempted me is the GT3 but, alas, it's out of my price-range. The GT4 arrives with most of the good bits in a chassis that should be fun at 7/10ths on a back road and 9/10ths (or even 10/10ths) on the track. I'm also a fan of a good manual, so that is a plus for me. Best of all, it's affordable (for a Porsche), and should hold up to the hard use to which I will undoubtedly put it.
 

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I think Porsche initially underestimated demand....probably because they don't have enough people reading P9. Lol

They certainly do not want this car sitting on lots (what signal would that send to everyone?) So they are selling based on allocations and orders. Everything is build to spec.

Since this is going to be a standard car in their line up and not something like a 918, everyone who wants one will eventually get one. Supply will be brought up to meet demand - minus one.
 

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I disagree with a lot of what you wrote.

First on other boards I am shocked at how many first time Porsche buyers are interested in the GT4, is it the price point versus the GT3 or the manual transmission, or fill-in-the-blank. Yet reading that the majority will track it and being their first Porsche the GTS or S would probably test their actual driving skills based on some of the cars they have now. This is almost ridiculous how little respect the 987, 987.2 and the 981's actually got in the press and from the buying public.
Sorry but this is ridiculous. First time Porsche buyer does not mean never been on a track. For people who have never been on a track I wouldn't even bother with a GTS or a S.
 

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I was at the factory tour last summer and saw a GT3 came off the normal 911 production line.
I believe that all the GT3 and GT4s are made on the normal production line in Zuffenhausen. It's my understanding that the Weissach complex is Porsche's R&D facility and the "factory" there only builds the race cars. I don't see a production problem with the GT4.

Edit: I found this interesting article: http://www.autoblog.com/2006/07/27/porsche-opens-new-motorsport-centre-in-weissach/


where they state "Spare parts, for example, for the new road-going 911 GT3 and the 911 GT3 RS vehicles are supplied from Weissach".

So maybe the problem is with getting the suspension parts from Weissach and that is the backlog?
 
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It's all about rarity and hype.

If your reasons are correct, why does Nike and Adidas release sneakers in limitied quantities causing people to camp out for days and people dying over a pair of shoes? Kanye's recent collaboration on Yeezy Boost with Adidas was limited to 3000 units. You're telling me they can't make 300,000 units if they wanted to?

Hermes, Louis Vuitton, luxury watch makers purposely make small production runs on their products to make them exclusive.

Brand image, marketing, rarity, desirable are the reasons production numbers are limited. It's not about how much they can sell versus demand.
 
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