Who would have bet that Porsche’s cars would continue to fly out of showrooms despite soaring fuel prices. In September, Porsche sold 20 percent more cars in the US, its most important market, than in the same month a year ago. And US sales of the face-lifted, gas-guzzling Cayenne SUV which starts at $44,000 were up 30 percent. Production of the Cayenne is running at full tilt. And US sales of Porsche’s core 911 series were up 35%.

Morgan Stanley forecasts Porsche sales of 97,500 this year — nearly double that of 2002 — and another doubling over the next five years as a growing class of upwardly mobile snap up the snazzy symbol of wealth and status.

The only risk to growth on the horizon is government-imposed curbs on CO2 emissions or taxes on fuel-hungry cars. But Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking is already poised to buy a majority stake in Volkswagen. That should ensure fleet-based emissions curbs won’t slam the brakes on Porsche any time soon.

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