How porsche is trimming itself to go electric

How porsche is trimming itself to go electric

The fact that no one really needs their cars is something they like to flirt with at porsche. No one needs it, but everyone wants it.

The slogan is pretty old, but it still works, especially when it comes to promoting supercars that are particularly powerful but not so suitable for everyday use.

The taycan may be a bit out of the ordinary in this respect. On wednesday, the first all-electric model from stuttgart-zuffenhausen celebrated its world premiere – simultaneously at three locations on three continents. From the end of the year, it will be delivered, starting in the USA, followed by europe and china. Expectations are rough. Porsche, like the industry as a whole, is being criticized for the diesel scandal and the debate about driving bans, and is being viewed skeptically. The group itself has made sustainability and electromobility top issues, spending billions, and has even proclaimed the start of a new era – and now it has to deliver.

In this respect, the VW subsidiary itself needs the taycan now. And whether everyone really wants him – and who wants him – remains to be seen. In this respect, porsche is no different from any other carmaker making the leap into the electric age.

If he's nervous about it, chief executive officer oliver blume at least didn't let it show in the days leading up to the premiere. "Entering new technologies can never be done without risk," he says. But without the courage to do so, there is nothing to be gained in the future. And porsche made its decision early on: "we set the course for electromobility even before the discussions about the future of the diesel engine and climate protection arose," emphasizes the 51-year-old.

The company is spending six billion euros between now and 2022 to get roughly into the electromobility business, hiring 1,500 new people specifically for that purpose. The entire plant at the company's headquarters in zuffenhausen has been expanded and converted over the past few months for the taycan. The staff gave up money so that production could be located there and not elsewhere, where it would have been cheaper and there would have been more space.

Blume is convinced that the money is well spent and the risk controllable – and that the taycan, as the first electric model, is the right car to buy. "With the taycan, we have deliberately chosen a segment in which our brand has not yet been represented," he says. If you look at the sales figures, the SUV segment was probably the better choice for porsche at the start – as the safer option, so to speak. The taycan, on the other hand, is somewhere between the classic 911 and the four-door panamera. The current top seller, the macan small SUV, will also be available as a pure e-version – but not until 2022.

"In a way, this is a gamble," says stefan reindl, director of the institute of automotive economics in geislingen, germany. But ultimately it is also marketing. Porsche lives by building remarkable cars above all else. "And they want to show that electromobility doesn't mean doing without," explains reindl. And of course they also want to differentiate themselves from others.

It is clear that this will have an impact on profitability, at least initially. "But that doesn't just apply to porsche," says reindl. At the start, the group expects material costs to be around 10,000 euros higher for each electric vehicle than for an internal combustion model. In order to be able to maintain the 15 percent return on investment target, which is not exactly modest anyway in view of the weak automotive economy, blume has set up a "results program. By 2025, this is expected to bring in six billion euros, and from then on two billion a year – through savings, but also with new sources of revenue.

The question of whether the company would be able to get out of the electric business if things didn't work out is not one that arises, says blume. "I am firmly convinced that electric mobility will be a success story for porsche," he says. The CEO can rely on the fact that thousands of people around the world have already bought a cat in a bag in recent months. For a down payment of 2,500 euros each, porsche has accepted advance orders for the taycan, which until wednesday hardly anyone knew what it would look like in the production version or how it would drive. Blume will therefore not hesitate to emphasize that an e-porsche is, of course, also a real porsche.

Officially, more than 20 million vehicles have been.000 interested parties who have already made a down payment. Albrecht reimold, head of production, has recently also spoken of more than 30 new cars.000 spoken. At least 20.Porsche wants to build 000 taycans a year. Upwards is capacity, of up to 40.000 was already to be read. Also to this blume did not want to commit itself so far. Expert reindl believes it's entirely possible that the taycan will also be able to tap into completely new groups of buyers. However, he says, it is very important for porsche that the individual segments do not cannibalize each other.

In order to comply with the various climate protection requirements worldwide, the group plans to sell around half of all vehicles with electric or purely electric drive by 2025. In the case of the panamera, for example, that's already possible; in europe, the majority of cars have been delivered as hybrid versions for some time now.

Porsche, on the other hand, is keeping its hands off its iconic model. The 911 with electric motor is out of the question for the time being. Porsche also wants to further develop its internal combustion engines, although in the case of the stuttgart company this is limited to gasoline engines. There are no more new diesels at porsche.

The boss can imagine a hybrid version of the 911 in principle, and it would be feasible, but there are no concrete plans to date. The 911 is a fixed staple in the product range, says blume. "It will still be on the road for a long time with an internal combustion engine."

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