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Porsche eyes record sales in 2014, helped by new Macan SUV

Car emblems for the new Porsche 918-Spyder are placed in a box at the production line of the German car manufacturer's plant in Stuttgart-Zu
Car emblems for the new Porsche 918-Spyder are placed in a box at the production line of the German car manufacturer's plant in Stuttgart-Zu

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Porsche aims to increase sales of sports cars and sport-utility vehicles (SUV) to another record this year after global deliveries hit an all-time high in 2013.

Deliveries of models including the iconic 911 and top-selling Cayenne SUV rose 14.9 percent last year to 162,145 cars, boosted by demand from all major markets, Porsche said on Thursday.

Porsche will start selling the new Macan compact SUV in April and expects demand from the United States and China, its two biggest markets, to remain strong in 2014.

The Volkswagen-owned brand, which sold about 20 percent more cars in both the United States and China last year, also expects moderate growth in its European home market, where it sells less than a third of its autos.

"All of this may enable us to once again sell more cars in 2014 than in 2013," sales chief Bernhard Maier told reporters during a conference call.

Porsche's goal to boost worldwide deliveries to more than 200,000 cars - originally set for 2018 - may be reached this year, market researcher IHS Automotive said, citing demand for the Macan.

The Stuttgart-based manufacturer's advance is proving a boon to parent VW, accounting for more than a fifth of its 8.56 billion euros ($11.64 billion) of nine-month operating profit.

VW has a goal of surpassing Toyota <7203.T> and General Motors as the world's largest carmaker no later than 2018.

Porsche is considering building more than the 50,000 units of the Macan which the company has initially set as annual manufacturing capacity at its factory in Leipzig, Germany, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said during the call, citing "very positive" feedback from customers.

China could overtake the United States as Porsche's top market as soon as next year, the CEO added, noting the number of dealers in the world's biggest car market may grow from 70 to about 100 by 2018. Porsche sold almost 5,000 cars more in the United States than in China last year.

($1 = 0.7353 euros)

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Mark Potter)

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