Porsche’s largest market this year is

Porsche's largest market this year is

China could replace the United States as Porsche’s largest single market as soon as this year, helped by the popularity of the brand’s Cayenne large luxury SUV.

Porsche sold more cars in China than in the U.S. in September but in the first eight months the U.S. is ahead by about 3,000 units.

“The U.S. performed very well this year, after a great year in 2013, but China is growing fast, thanks to the Cayenne which is our best seller there,” Porsche’s sales and marketing chief, Bernhard Maier, told Automotive News Europe at the Paris auto show.

Mayer said it is still not clear whether China or the United States will finish the year as the largest single market for the brand. “It is still an open head-to-head race,” he said.

Porsche’s China sales surged 54 percent to 4,344 in September, while U.S. sales for the month were 3,607, up 17 percent. In the first nine months, Porsche’s China sales were 32,592, up 19 percent and behind U.S. sales, which were 35,366, up 12 percent.

Globally, Porsche sales grew by 22 percent to 15,828 in September and by 13 percent to 135, 652 through September. European sales, excluding Germany, were up 4 percent to 4,649 in September and 15 percent to 43,274 through September. German sales increased 12 percent to 1,799 in September and by 12 percent to 17,848 in the year to date.

The Cayenne large SUV was the best-selling model with 51,000 sold globally through September, followed by the 911 sports car range with 22,900 sales and the Panamera sedan with a volume of 18,700.