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A Chat with Porsche's Wendelin Wiedeking

The CEO laments the one-year wait for a 911 Turbo, and he looks forward to the debut of Porsche's Cayenne SUV

Germany's Porsche is an oddity in the auto business. While rivals such as Jaguar, Saab, and Aston Martin have been gobbled up by global players, Porsche continues to thrive as a small, niche performance-car producer. It sold a mere 48,500 cars last year, and its prices are high: The speedy 911 sports car costs $90,000-plus, while the sleek "entry-level" Boxter starts out at a crisp $41,000. In 2002, it plans to start producing a new sport-utility vehicle that will be called the Cayenne.

Despite their high prices, Porsche's products are in such high demand that some models have long waiting lists. Business Week Detroit Correspondent Jeff Green and Business Week Online Contributing Editor Thane Peterson checked in with Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation: