Pandemic causes Porsche to slow down US sales of Taycan EV

Porsche reported about 350 Taycan sales in the US from December through March. Demand remains strong, but the six-week closure of Porsche’s Zuffenhausen assembly plant in Stuttgart, where the Taycan is made, will prevent some interested American car buyers from making a purchase this year.

Automotive News reports that global demand for the Taycan has outstripped Porsche’s expectations. Klaus Zellmer, chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, is confident that there is a large market in the US for luxury performance EVs. He said:

The Taycan is the sports car in the battery-electric vehicle segment right now. That’s what people aspire to.

Porsche views the EV as its halo car and conquest model. The Taycan gets stellar reviews from auto enthusiasts. The Porsche electric sports car produces up to 750 horsepower and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. Porsche ran its first Super Bowl ad in more than 20 years to promote the Taycan.

The strong demand for the Porsche Taycan comes despite a price tag ranging from the $104,000 4S model to the $187,000 Turbo S. Porsche reportedly doubled global annual capacity to 40,000 units.

Porsche Taycan

The vast majority of Taycan output is going to Europe, notably Germany and Norway. Porsche reported 1,391 deliveries of the Taycan in Q1, but only 220 were sold in the United States.

Taycan production was halted for six weeks starting in early April. Production restarted in mid-May. Zellmer said:

That six-week window was very much reserved for fulfilling the US demand. We had to take thousands of cars out of our sales plan for this year that we will not get into the United States and Canada.

Electrek’s Take

Zellmer equated the milestone of Porsche offering its first all-electric sports car to the company selling its first SUVs in 2002. We believe it’s an even more significant shift in corporate strategy and mind-set.

Maybe Porsche was surprised by the strong market response to the Taycan. In Q1, the US represented only 15% of global sales.

Porsche’s US-based top executive reportedly said that “thousands of cars” will not get into the US and Canada based on a six-week production halt. But the company only sold about 350 units from December through March.

The situation provides further evidence that automakers are catering to Europe, where keen interest and emissions rules require higher volumes. Meanwhile, the US will see far fewer EVs, including a very limited number of the high-priced, high-performance Porsche Taycan.

The Taycan was always going to be a niche vehicle. But we hope that the Volkswagen Group, the parent company for the Porsche brand, is ready to increase production as necessary when US consumers express stronger than anticipated interest in its future EVs, such as the ID.4 SUV due later this year.

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Avatar for Bradley Berman Bradley Berman

Bradley writes about electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and other tech that’s transforming society. He contributes to The New York Times, SAE International, Via magazine, Popular Mechanics, MIT Technology Review, and others.