Sports car builder under power: How Porsche trims on electric
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Stuttgart (dpa) - That no one really needs their cars, is something they like to coquet with Porsche. No one needs, but everyone wants.
The motto is already quite old, but still pulls, especially when it is especially PS-strong and at the same time rather not so suitable for everyday use supercars to promote.
The Taycan probably beats a bit out of style. On Wednesday, the first pure electric model from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen celebrates world premiere on three continents at the same time. From the end of the year, it will be delivered, the US will make the beginning. The expectations are great.
Porsche stands, like the industry as a whole, because of diesel scandal and the debate about driving bans in the criticism and is skeptical eye. The group itself has made sustainability and electromobility, with the use of billions of euros, top topics and even proclaimed the beginning of a new era - and must now deliver.
So, above all, the VW subsidiary itself now needs the Taycan. And if everyone really wants to - and who wants him - must first show. Since Porsche is currently no different than all other carmakers who start the leap into the electric age.
If he is nervous because of that, CEO Oliver Blume is at least not noticeable. "Getting into new technologies is never without risk," he says. But without the courage to do so, there would be nothing to get in the future. And Porsche decided early on: "We set the course for electromobility even before discussions about the future of the diesel engine and climate protection came up," emphasizes the 51-year-old.
The group will provide six billion euros by 2022 to enter the electromobility business, employing 1,500 new people. The complete plant at the headquarters in Zuffenhausen has been removed and converted in recent months for the Taycan. The workforce did not spend money on production, and not elsewhere, where it would have been cheaper and had more space.
Blume is convinced that the money is invested well and the risk is controllable - and the Taycan is the first electric model to be the right car. "We deliberately chose the Taycan for a segment in which our brand was not yet represented," he says. If one looks at the sales figures, the SUV segment would have offered to start even at Porsche - rather than the safer variant, so to speak. The Taycan, however, is somewhere between the classic 911 and the four-door Panamera locate. The current top seller, the small SUV Macan, it should be synonymous as a pure E version - but only in 2022.
"This is in a way a risk," says Stefan Reindl, director of the Institute of Automotive Industry in Geislingen. But ultimately it is marketing. Porsche lives on it once, above all remarkable cars to build. "And you want to show that electric mobility is not a waiver," explains Reindl. And of course you want to be different from others.
It is clear that this will break through to profitability at least once in the beginning. "But that does not just affect Porsche," says Reindl. With about 10,000 euros higher material costs, the Group expects to start with each electric vehicle compared to a combustor model. In order to be able to keep up with the 15 percent return on investment, which is not exactly a modest target given the weak state of the car economy, Blume has set up an "earnings program". By 2025, the six billion euros and from then on per year to contribute two billion - on savings, but also with new sources of revenue.
The question of whether the group would come out of the electrical number for emergencies again, if it does not run, do not turn, says Blume. "I am firmly convinced that electromobility will be a success story for Porsche," he says. The CEO can build on the fact that thousands of people worldwide have bought in the past few months, almost a cat in a poke. Porsche has accepted pre-orders for the Taycan for a down payment of 2,500 euros, of which so far hardly anyone knows how he looks in the production version and how he drives. Blume is therefore not tired to emphasize that an E-Porsche, of course, a real Porsche.
Officially, there has been talk for months of more than 20,000 interested parties who have already made a down payment. Head of Production Albrecht Reimold recently spoke of more than 30,000. Porsche wants to build at least 20,000 Taycan per year. Upwards is capacity, up to 40,000 was already read. Also Blume does not want to commit, before the car is officially on the market. Expert Reindl thinks it is quite possible that with the Taycan also completely new shoppers can be tapped. However, it is very important for Porsche, he says, that the individual segments do not cannibalize.
In order to be able to meet the global climate protection targets, the Group plans to sell about half of all vehicles electrified or with pure electric drive in 2025. The Panamera succeeds, the majority is delivered as a hybrid version.
Porsche, on the other hand, keeps its fingers off its icon. The 911 with electric motor is then out of the question. Porsche also wants to develop the burners. Although the boss can imagine a hybrid version of the 911er in principle, it would also be feasible, but it has not actually been planned yet. The 911 is a fixture in the product range. "He will be using a combustion engine for a long time," says Blume.
Live stream of the Taycan premiere