Sales of electric Porsche may surpass the 911

Porsche's iconic sports car could soon be eclipsed by the battery-powered Taycan

30 July 2019 - 08:17 By Bloomberg
The electric Taycan will have its official world unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
The electric Taycan will have its official world unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
Image: Supplied

Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car, which shaped the German brand’s luxurious appeal for decades, may soon be eclipsed by the battery-powered Taycan in terms of deliveries.

Just over a month before its official unveiling in September, Porsche has already amassed deposits for nearly 30,000 Taycans, and the early haul supports plans to lift annual production of the brand’s first all-electric model to 40,000 vehicles, Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said on Monday.

With Porsche delivering 35,600 911s last year, the Taycan - to be priced at roughly $90,000 (R1.27m) - could zoom past the combustion-era hero to define the brand for the next generation.

Success of the Taycan is critical for parent company Volkswagen AG to boost the appeal of electric cars as it prepares for a rollout of battery-powered vehicles across all price ranges. The Taycan’s arrival could also pose a fresh challenge to Tesla’s Model S, a key vehicle for Elon Musk’s effort to make the electric-car leader profitable.

Tesla hasn’t detailed plans to overhaul its successful Model S luxury sedan that’s been on sale since 2012, betting on the Model 3 to target mass-market buyers instead. While sales have risen, the car’s lower returns have seen Tesla’s losses accelerate to cast fresh doubt on whether building and selling electric cars can be a sustainably profitable business.

Tesla’s bid to expand outside the US “is essentially a down-market push that will exacerbate eroding gross margin,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tynan said. The California-based firm is at risk of trading in a strong domestic position “to scrap with local rivals in foreign markets”.

To help drive uptake in the Taycan, Porsche is installing fast chargers at dealerships in the US and Europe that will load the Taycan’s battery with enough power to drive as far as 100km in four minutes. The car’s total range on a single charge is a claimed 500km.


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