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Taycan shakes up Porsche sales

More than one in 10 Porsches sold in Aus is a Taycan EV, half of buyers new to brand

6 Dec 2021

PORSCHE'S first fully electric vehicle has had a strong start in Australia between the various east coast lockdowns, launching in early 2021 and finding 481 customers by the end of November to take a 19.3 per cent share of the large luxury sedan and wagon segment where it occupies third place behind the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series.


Within its own stable, the Taycan has outstripped sales of the 911 (383 units) and found more than double the combined buyers of 718 Cayman (139) and Boxster (96) while outselling the Panamera (47) by more than a factor of 10.


To put it another way, more than one in every 10 Porsches sold in Australia year to date was a Taycan – and around half of buyers are new to the brand.


Speaking with GoAuto at the recent 911 GT3 launch in Sydney, Porsche Cars Australia head of public relations Chris Jordan said the company has been pleased by the acceptance of Taycan by both existing Porsche owners and newcomers to the brand.


Mr Jordan told GoAuto the strength of Taycan sales were partly due to the brand’s positioning of the new EV as “a true Porsche sportscar”.


“We had a lot of insight as to who was interested in that car, a lot of them were existing Porsche owners and then a lot were new to the brand that were more EV enthusiasts. We were pretty confident that the car was going to tick the right boxes for both of those groups,” he said.


"We were confident in Taycan, but that said, we try to undersell and over-deliver … So we're pleased to see that so many of them have gone through that journey, seen the car, come to the customer events and doing the test drive and following through and owning the car."


As with any model, Porsche keeps a close eye on how many buyers are returning Porsche buyers or a conquest, a customer defecting from another brand.


"Throughout the expression of interest (EOI) process, it was always a close 50:50, slightly in favour of Porsche owners,” said Mr Jordan.


“That's coming true to this point. A lot of people who put in the EOI are still in that consideration phase because the entry-level, rear-wheel drive for Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo is coming early next year. A lot of those people we're still talking to them. If they're new to the brand, obviously the entry-level of those models is for them – not for everyone – but for a lot of them, that's what they're after."


Porsche owners seem to have taken to the idea that a Porsche can be electric and that appears to have a lot to do with the way the Taycan has been marketed.


“We tried to launch this car and communicate around this car in very much a Porsche way; that's been a good thing,” said Mr Jordan.


“The performance and engineering of the car is very much what you expect of a Porsche. What's been encouraging for us is seeing Porsche owners experiencing their Taycan in a Porsche way. We know there's obvious differences with EVs, but we've stayed true to what a Porsche sportscar is and what it's capable of and communicated it in that way. So even people that are new to the brand, if that's their entry into the brand, they know what Porsche is about.”


Mr Jordan added that having Taycan alongside Macans, Cayennes, Caymans and 911s was regarded as significant to its showroom success.


"We didn't create a sub-brand for electric. They don't have to go to a special dealer. They can now be a Porsche enthusiast, join a Porsche car club – they are a Porsche owner through and through," he said.


Porsche Australia continues to communicate with customers about the Taycan ownership experience, gathering data about charging patterns and the owner’s use of the car.


"We're still doing a lot of work on Taycan. It is our first EV, we're following up with these owners and trying to get information on the whole ownership experience. How are they finding the car, what home charging solution they have. We're trying to learn as much as we can."


Taycan owners are using a range of charging options, including Porsche Destination Charging, as well as other charging networks such as Evie, on top of the subscription to the Chargefox network that is included with the sale of the Taycan. 


More electric vehicles are on the way in 2022, starting with more affordable variants of the Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo in the first quarter, followed by a GTS version of the sedan in the second quarter. 


"That is a slightly different buyer and a buyer we're keen to bring into the brand – that kind of active lifestyle owner. Taycan Cross Turismo's launch was disrupted by lockdowns, it was September. At that time half the population of Australia was locked down, so now we're trying to make up for lost time,” said Mr Jordan.


“We're actually very pleased that despite the fact the car didn't get the attention it deserved because everyone was stuck at home, it's still got a lot of interest … It's something relatively new to us to have a crossover type of car."


Porsche Australia expects the near 50:50 split of existing Porsche owners to conquest sales to continue with the Cross Turismo but sadly, customers will not have the option of towning he Taycan GTS Sport Turismo.


"We offer the Taycan sedan and Taycan Cross Turismo models in Australia. We are confident that these models cater for Australian owners. In terms of wagon configuration, the higher ground clearance and off-road capabilities of the Cross Turismo are ideally suited for the active lifestyle of many Australian Porsche owners, and since deliveries commenced in September 2021 it is already proving popular,” said Mr Jordan.


“We do not have plans to introduce the Taycan Sport Turismo at this time."

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