Porsche is experiencing a good amount of interest from Tesla owners for its new all-electric Taycan sports car, the head of the automaker’s North American operations stated.
Klaus Zellmer, president, and CEO Porsche Cars North America has stated that out of “thousands” of potential U.S. consumers who have shown “sincere interest” in the sports car, Tesla owners are the highest among non-Porsche owners.
“They presently drive a Tesla, they’re open to experiencing something new now,” he informed CNBC on the sidelines of the L.A. Auto Show in November. “We’re very happy about that.”
The German automaker, according to Zellmer, was amazed by the initial number of owners from Tesla.
“We were actually surprised right from the get-go to see Tesla be so much in the foreground as a possible source of business,” he stated.
Behind Tesla owners were Porsche’s general competitors such as Audi, BMW, and Daimler owned Mercedes-Benz. Present Porsche owners comprise half of the potential U.S. consumers that took significant interest in the vehicle, according to Zellmar. The company refused to reveal a specific amount of U.S. hand-raisers for the Taycan.
Porsche previously stated that about 20,000 people worldwide had shown sincere interest in the vehicle by placing a deposit or seeing a dealership. That number does not concern those who registered online to receive details about the Taycan. Porsche refused to release the number of online registrations.
Porsche anticipates the Taycan to add incremental sales and help lead the company to another year of record U.S. retail sales in 2020, states Zellmer. The company’s domestic sales increased 6.5% through October — putting it on pace to lead its record U.S. retail sales of 57,202 in 2018.
“With the Taycan coming into the U.S., the only way is up for us,” Zellmer stated. “That is an extra model line, so we expect us to exceed previous years sales by a margin.”
Porsche, according to Zellmer, plans to grip its reputation, heritage, and customer experience to set the Taycan except the Tesla Model S and other rivals.
The Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S are very close in size and efficiency, however, consumers will be paying a premium for the all-new Taycan compared to the aging Model S, which started production in 2012.
The stated starting cost range for the Taycan is between $103,800 for the base Taycan 4S and $185,000 for the top-end Taycan Turbo S. That compares to the $99,990 starting cost of the top-line Model S. A base Taycan, priced lower than $100,000, is expected around next fall.
The top performance models of the Taycan and Model S have 0 to 60 mph times of less than three seconds and top speeds of over 160 mph. However, depending on the model, the Model S has over 370-mile range compared to the Taycan, which is expected to achieve below 300 miles.