The Porsche 911 was the most profitable car of 2019

Back in the 1990s, Porsche 911 sales were so slow that the German carmaker had to develop an SUV, the Cayenne, to return to profitability. Come 2020, and the Porsche 911 is the most profitable car in the world. According to Bloomberg, the 911 accounted for nearly 30 percent of total Porsche earnings in 2019, even though it made up only 11 percent of the company’s sales.

The Porsche 911 is more profitable than the Ferrari F8 Tributo

The Porsche 911 Basically Prints Money, and That's Why Porsche Can Sell the Taycan At a Loss For Now
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The 911 isn't the only vehicle that generates big profits with low-volume sales, but it raises above a handful of iconic models.

For instance, the Ferrari F8 Tributo boasts an impressive 50-percent sales margin, but its total vehicle earnings within Ferrari are of only 17 percent. The same report says that the 911 also surpassed a couple of popular SUVs, namely the Mercedes-Benz GLE and the BMW X5. This is a big deal given that crossovers sell like hotcakes nowadays and it’s common knowledge that their profit margins are far from small.

Impressively enough, the 911’s profits remained high even when the 991.2-generation was still on sale while the 992 was on its way to dealerships. Outgoing generations face much lower sales when new cars are underway, but the 911 is one of those few models that break this rule. In 2018, Porsche sold more 911s than in 2017, despite having revealed the brand-new 992 model the same year.

Porsche 911 profits will help cover for the Taycan

The Porsche 911 Basically Prints Money, and That's Why Porsche Can Sell the Taycan At a Loss For Now
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The fact that the 911 is highly profitable right now doesn’t necessarily mean that Porsche needs bigger coffers for its money. The German firm recently introduced the Taycan, an all-electric four-door sports car that’s being sold at a loss for the time being.

Porsche spent $6.6 billion to develop and build a new factory for the Taycan, so the EV isn't expected to return profits until 2023.

So that’s three years in which Taycan production needs to be covered by profits from other nameplates, like the 911, Cayenne, and Macan. This also means that Porsche might not have the resources to develop the successor to the 918 Spyder we’re waiting for.

But just like the Cayenne saved Porsche from going under in the early 2000s, the 911 will probably keep the German firm profitable until the Taycan starts making money on its own.

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S specifications
Cylinder layout / number of cylinders Boxer 6 Twin-Turbo
Displacement 3.0 l
Engine layout Rear engine
Max. Power 443 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 390 LB-FT @ 2,300-5,000 RPM
Top Track Speed 191 mph PDK
Acceleration 0 - 60 mph 3.5 sec PDK / 3.3 sec (PDK with Sport Chrono)

Source: Bloomberg

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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