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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Porsche Firm on New Model

STUTTGART, Germany -- German sports-car maker Porsche AG said Friday it was still committed to developing a sport-utility vehicle despite breaking off cooperation talks with Mercedes-Benz AG.


Porsche management board chairman Wendelin Wiedeking told the company's annual shareholder meeting the sport-utility vehicle market was one of the fastest-growing in the industry and one that the carmaker would certainly enter.


"We have decided that the Porsche brand would be well accepted" by customers considering whether to buy a sport-utility vehicle, Wiedeking said.


Wiedeking said the talks with Mercedes ended in January because Porsche believed Mercedes wanted to have too strong an influence on the project.


"We have not lost substantial time with this project but instead have developed a lot of know-how that has created for us a good starting position," Wiedeking said.


The two carmakers had sought a way to cooperate on producing a top-end version of the Mercedes M-Class vehicle, which is set to begin production in the United States later this year, since last summer.


Porsche has been looking for a partner to develop such a car to help it diversify from its dependence on the sports car market with its two models -- the 911 and the Boxster roadster.


A Porsche spokesman said the carmaker is now searching for a potential partner to develop a sport-utility vehicle but said previously-announced plans to introduce such a vehicle in 1999 are now unrealistic.


"I would not expect for us to offer such a car before the turn of the century," the spokesman said.