There’s an uncomfortable truth about car brands: while exotic, performance and luxury car brands trade on an image of exclusivity, prestige and excellence, they’re not always known for being particularly reliable – except for Porsche, that is.
The sporty German marque is an outlier among performance car makers as not only the most reliable of its breed but one of the most reliable car brands full stop.
Indeed, well-regarded market research firm J.D. Power’s 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study ranks Porsche as the second-most reliable marque on the market, just behind Lexus and ahead of Kia and (shockingly) Toyota, a position they’ve held for many years not only in the US but Australia also.
But Porsche itself recently shared a rather surprising fact which further underlines the reliability of their cars: according to the brand, more than two-thirds of all Porsche cars ever built are still on the road today. Talk about German engineering…
“This is impressive evidence of the longevity of Porsche’s cars and the love people have for them,” Porsche’s press release relates.
It’s a truly impressive statistic; one that’s emblematic of just how unique Porsche is as a manufacturer. We doubt that there’s the same number of Alfa Romeos still rolling around…
The real question, however, is this: why can’t other manufacturers boast a similar boast? Is it simply a matter of ‘they don’t make them like they used to’?
Much of it has to do with Porsche’s market segment. Since day dot, the modern Porsche marque has exclusively been a performance marque producing high-end, relatively low production-run vehicles – that is, vehicles that are more likely to be prized and maintained well. They’re also a relatively young manufacturer, in the grand scheme of things.
In comparison, Mercedes-Benz – which is also almost twice as old as Porsche – has produced a far wider range of vehicles over its years, from luxury limousines to commercial vehicles. An expensive convertible that’s only driven on weekends is likely to last longer and be cared for better than an ambulance or postal van that’s constantly doing heavy-duty driving and is likely to be turned over fairly regularly.
That’s before you start talking about marques that have always been mass-market, such as Daihatsu, SEAT or Suzuki… How many Proton Personas do you see on the roads today?
As we enter the electric era of cars, it will be interesting to see if Porsche models can maintain their impressive longevity. The Porsche Taycan might be an amazing car, but will it still be kicking around 60 years down the track? What about Tesla Model 3s, or Nissan Leafs (or should that be ‘Leaves’)?
Conversely, electrification could actually be a way of keeping classic cars on the road longer. Electric car conversion companies, like EVolution in Melbourne, can give classic cars a new lease on life by swapping out their outdated petrol engines for modern EV drivetrains. Naturally, the classic Porsche 911 is a popular conversion candidate – but the sky’s the limit.
Imagine dropping a beefy electric motor in an old Holden Kingswood…