Which car companies could offer a single model and still make money?

By Colin Wood
Jan 2, 2024 | Porsche, Discussion

Photograph Courtesy Porsche

Some might joke that Porsche could sell just the 911 and still be profitable, but is that actually the case?

Which mainstream car companies do you think could reduce their lineups to a single model and still make a profit?

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rob_lewis UberDork
1/2/24 12:35 p.m.

Define single model.  I ask because the first thing that comes to mind for me is Ford with the F150.  They already sell millions of them in multiple configurations and powertrains.  If you could extend the model to a "platform" I could seem them using it as an SUV platform, too. 
This would only be in the U.S., however. 


SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/2/24 12:41 p.m.

Rivian barely sells more than 1 model (but they don't make a profit).

I like the F150 answer.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 12:44 p.m.

All of them COULD. 

White board a design that allows a single expandable light mid size chassis. Allow for a front engine front or AWD format. Allow for a 2 door, 4 door, estate and high roof estate delivery and Ute built off same underpinnings. Allow for e-hybrid option along with pedestrian economy 4 cylinder and wicked turned up turbo six. Create a worldwide manufacturing system with regional assembly centers to reduce transport costs. Build the same vehicles for 10 year cycles with ultimate improvements on next rollover. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
1/2/24 12:48 p.m.


fidelity101 UberDork
1/2/24 12:51 p.m.

VAG and the golf platform I guess...

Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/2/24 1:03 p.m.

I doubt it.  With the sales people screaming "we are losing sales because we don't have X!"



calteg SuperDork
1/2/24 1:08 p.m.

That's kinda sorta been Lotus for the last 20 years. Elise/Exige were essentially the same car and accounted for the lion's share of Lotus sales

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/2/24 1:52 p.m.

In reply to rob_lewis :

I like the F150 answer, too.

I also get that Caterham pretty much only makes a single model, but I look at them as a low-volume manufacturer.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/2/24 2:07 p.m.

Porsche - 911
Toyota - RAV4
Ford - F150

I think these explain themselves. #1 selling crossover, #1 selling pickup truck, and hugely popular sports car that the brand is known for.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/24 2:18 p.m.

Tesla, Model Y. They're already basically a two-model company, so it would just be a matter of peeling off the lower selling 3. Heck, the two cars are so closely related they've basically the same - the Y is just a taller hatch version of the 3.

I don't think Porsche could survive on the 911. They've almost been forced to try in the past and it was dark days. The Cayenne is the one that saved the company and is why we can have so many 911s.

Ford uses F150 powertrains in a bunch of other models worldwide. If the volume of those models disappeared, I think the margins would shrink enough to make surviving a little challenging.

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