MUMBAI – Porsche AG opens its first dealer showroom and service center in India.

“India is one of the leading markets for automobile companies,” Managing Director Mohamed Rahman says. “We have sold 200 cars in the last two years and seek to double the sales by next year.”

Porsche will provide technical training, expertise and support facilities to Shreyans Motors Ltd., its exclusive dealer in India. Shreyans is showcasing the entire Porsche model range.

Porsche officials recently demonstrated the skills of its drivers and capabilities of its models at a special racetrack built for that purpose alongside a private airport near Bombay.

The auto maker brought 11 models to the racetrack, and instructors were flown from Germany to train and guide aspiring Indian drivers.

Porsche currently imports completely built-up Carrera and Cayman models, which sell for about Rs6.4 million ($142,200), and the slightly lower-priced Boxster. The Cayenne Turbo cross/utility vehicle, equipped with a 4.5L engine, also is sold here and commands a price of Rs10 million ($222,200).

“The company is eying nearly 25,000 potential customers who can buy a Porsche in India,” Rahman says, noting it will take a few years to reach a significant number of buyers.

Meanwhile, Porsche plans to bring its all-new Panamera 4-door sports coupe to India concurrent with the vehicle’s global launch in 2009.

“The Panamera will give a big boost to our sales, Shreyans CEO Ashish Chordia says. “It will compete with cars in the luxury segment, like BMW and Mercedes (brands), and will be priced at around Rs10 million ($224,300).”