Porsche ramps up EVs but will still invest in gas cars, North America CEO says

Porsche is witnessing record sales with plans to hone in on the success of its all-electric models, Porsche Cars North America CEO Kjell Gruner told CNBC on Thursday.

“At the end of the day, we are enjoying really high demand with all our vehicle lines,” Gruner said on “Squawk Box.” “We’re happy with demand for the Taycan, it’s approximately 15% of our overall volume. But the important thing is, the brand is strong. People enjoy the customer experience. And yes, we have a very strong product portfolio.” 

Porsche’s second-quarter earnings increased 55% compared to last year, Gruner said.

The brand is now competing with other electric-vehicle makers, like Tesla, to dominate the EV market. The three pillars of the company’s powertrain strategy include future investments into full electric cars, plug-in hybrid models and internal combustion engines, Gruner said. 

Porsche said sales of the all-electric Taycan model, introduced in 2019, are already equal to that of its iconic 911 model. According to Gruner, Taycan sales are coming from current Porsche owners, customers from competitor brands, like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and others looking to add Porsche to their existing car collection. 

“We want current Porsche owners to accept the Taycan as a part of the family, that they realize this is a Porsche,” the CEO said. “The way it is built, you know, we took a clean sheet of paper and said, we’re gonna do electric. And if we do something, we do it right. We do it with our entire passion that we have.”

Klaus Zellmer, former CEO Porsche Cars North America, previously told CNBC that Tesla owners showed the highest interest in Taycan among non-Porsche owners. SUVs still contribute to huge chunk of Porsche’s overall revenue.

While Gruner said the luxury automaker always wants to sell one car less than the market demands, Porsche is struggling to get its cars to customers on time. 

“We’re really working hard with production, with procurement to make that happen. And at the moment it might be that you have to wait and dream about your 911 just a bit longer than usually, and that we would hope for,” Gruner said.

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