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Porsche Faces Intense Competition From Upstart Electric Car Company

A single electric car model from an upstart EV manufacturer is outselling the iconic Porsche 911 as well as several of its stablemates in the Porsche model lineup, namely the Panamera sedan and Boxster/Cayman twins. Who is this daring new company? None other than Porsche itself.

The all-electric Taycan found its way into 28,640 new driveways in the first 9 months of 2021, narrowly edging out the 27,972 new 911 sports cars delivered, the 20,275 Panamera sedans sold, and the 15,916 combined sales of the Boxster/Cayman twins.

Porsche Taycan in California. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Porsche Taycan. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Porsche Taycan. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Porsche took a lot of flack for introducing the Cayenne in 2002. How dare a company that made its reputation building high-performance sports cars with a flat six engine mounted in the rear commit the unpardonable sin of building a truck [actually, it’s an SUV] with a V-8 engine mounted over the front wheels? Heresy! Apostasy!!

It quickly became the best selling car ever offered by Porsche and spawned a slightly smaller version called the Macan.

Those two models continue to sell well. In the first 9 months of this year, Porsche sold 62,451 Cayennes and 61,944 Macans. Overall, Porsche sales are up 13% in a year in which many other manufacturers are seeing steep declines in sales due to supply chain issues like a lack of computer chips.

“The very high demand for our sports cars continued into the third quarter and we are delighted to have been able to supply so many cars to customers during the first nine months of the year,” Porsche spokesperson and board member Detlev von Platen told the press this week.

Sales in the U.S. were particularly high. Porsche delivered 51,615 vehicles in America during the first months of the year — a 30% increase from last year — and a total of 63,025 vehicles throughout the Americas — an increase of 29 percent. Although China’s growth was more modest at 11%, it remained the single biggest market for Porsche by volume, with the company delivering a total of 69,789 vehicles in the first three quarters of 2021.

“The order books are nicely filled and are, in turn, filling us with optimism and enthusiasm as we approach the year-end rush,” said von Platen. “However, the coronavirus situation remains dynamic and we are facing challenges in sourcing semiconductors. For these reasons, we are keeping a very close eye on current developments to ensure that we can continue to react in a flexible manner.”

Porsche Mission E concept, courtesy of Porsche.

When Porsche first showed the Mission E concept to its workers, they begged the company to build the car. That support from the people who would build the cars was a big part of the company’s decision to put what became the Taycan into production.

At first, the motoring press was not that kind to the Taycan, knocking it down for its less than hoped for range. But real-world experience has shown the car is a true contender in the EV marketplace. Sales are surging and the company is bringing variants of the car to market that offer more SUV-like characteristics.

Two iconic sports cars introduced in the early ’60s set the automotive world on fire and propelled their manufacturers to new heights — the Jaguar XK-E and the Porsche 911. Today, only the spirit of the 911 lives on in a production car. The Taycan has little in common with its famous forebear but it may be the beginning of a new era of success for Porsche. Let the naysayers carp all they like. Porsche has a hit on its hands and it’s laughing all the way to the bank.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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