Interview: Manolito Vujicic, Brand Head, Porsche India

The Taycan is what all EVs aspire to be!

By:November 13, 2021 9:36 AM

While Tesla still hasn’t been able to make inroads into the Indian market, the Germans have all but established themselves in the luxury electric car space. Last year Mercedes-Benz launched the EQC, and this year Audi brought five electric car models under the e-tron sub-brand. On Friday, Porsche launched its electric supercar, the Taycan, in India, priced Rs 1.5 crore onwards. The German carmaker also launched the new Macan priced Rs 83 lakh onwards. Order books for both these models are now open with first deliveries due early next year. Manolito Vujicic, brand head, Porsche India, talked to FE’s Vikram Chaudhary on the plans ahead.

Prior to the pandemic, Porsche India reportedly sold 450-odd cars every year. How many units do you expect to sell in CY21?

Q3CY21 was our best third-quarter performance ever, a 25% growth over the previous best third quarter from 2014 and a 164% gain over the same period in 2020. The three-month period was also the second-best quarter after Q1CY21 in Porsche’s operational history. Overall, the first nine months of 2021 recorded a strong plus of 90% over 2020, or 334 new car deliveries.

In addition, and more importantly, four new Porsche showrooms are set to open in the first half of 2022, bringing the total dealer network to nine locations.

Porsche Taycan EV front 3 quarters

What differentiates the Taycan from other luxury electric cars?

The Taycan is available in four saloon models (comprising the Taycan, the Taycan 4S, the Turbo and the Turbo S), and is accompanied by the exciting Cross Turismo in 4S, Turbo and Turbo S versions that add the versatility of extra ground clearance, Gravel Mode and 1,200 litres of rear cargo space.

The Turbo S sports saloon is the most powerful sports car in the Porsche range generating up to 560 kW (761 PS) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the entry-level Taycan with rear-wheel drive delivers up to 484 km of range with the Performance Battery Plus (according to WLTP).

Since Porsche is part of Volkswagen Group, as is Audi, can future Taycan electric car customers utilise Audi’s charging network?

Our focus, to begin with, will be providing a strong charging support for Taycan customers. This includes home charging (22kW equipment that can charge the Taycan in about 5 hours), destination charging and public charging. In the future, we can utilise the Group brand network as well, but we will leave nothing to be desired.

In the future, can Porsche India assemble cars in India, at the Group’s Aurangabad plant?

Porsche is not a volume brand; globally, we sell about 300,000 units per year, and that demand can be easily met by Zuffenhausen (Germany) and Bratislava (Slovakia)—the two plants where Porsche cars are made. Porsche is a niche brand, and the goal is to have a 0.3% market share in each market worldwide.

In that case, what is the contribution of companies such as Porsche (which import cars) to the Indian economy?

The contribution is in terms of employment. The team in India, the technicians, dealer colleagues are all Indians. Then we have a parts warehouse in India, and people working there are all Indians. Also, there are high taxes, customs duty, and registration and insurance charges on our cars, which get used for public development.

Which is your largest selling single model in India?

The Macan is our volume brand in India. The new Macan launched on Friday (in three variants comprising the Macan, the Macan S and the Macan GTS) will be a bridge to the new generation Macan that will come in 2025, and which could be 100% electric or a hybrid.

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