IN EARLIER SHOULDER CHECK COLUMNS, Porsche’s difficult financial state in the early ‘90s was discussed. The Boxster was one of the catalysts that made Porsche the most profitable automobile company in the world.
While attending the Tokyo Motor Show in fall 1991, Arno Bohn, short-term chairman, asked Harm Lagaay why Porsche didn’t do concept cars. Receiving permission to do one, Lagaay started that very evening. Arno Bohn had been involved in approving the 911 993 but not knowing its subsequent success and not wanting the 911 as its only model, Porsche needed to develop another line.
Horst Marchart had joined the Porsche board as head of research and development just before the Tokyo show. He promoted the idea of two cars, one face. The front part of an automobile is the most expensive to develop not only because of all the parts but because of safety regulations.
The Boxster concept was ready for the 1993 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Porsche was allocated a dark corner as its US sales were so low. Porsche staff had prepared for questions regarding its future but once the Boxster was unveiled, all were captivated.
The production car was released in 1996 and sold an amazing 164,874 units, outselling the 911. That sales figure was only eclipsed by the Cayenne, which was discussed in last month’s issue. (“Cayenne Million Milestone,” March 2021) Not only was the Boxster a sales success, it was a car that continued the passion for Porsche as evidenced by our members’ enthusiastic stories. “Bounty of Boxsters” indeed. That title credit goes to Dan Proudfoot. </>