Porsche mulls building a battery-powered vehicle to cater to demand

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 16, 2015

Porsche AG may pursue a battery-powered vehicle as it tries to take advantage of the growing demand for greener luxury vehicles while countering the surge of Tesla Motors Inc. “Tesla has built an exceptional car,” Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller remarked, adding that the US EV maker has a very pragmatic approach and has set the standard.

While Porsche already plans to launch its seventh model line by the end of the decade, it has yet to decide the car’s form. Porsche has said it might expand its Panamera coupe line with a smaller version or a roomier shooting brake variant.

Porsche has also said it might build a sports car slotted between the 911 and the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar and would be designed to take on Ferrari. The carmaker saw its sales surge 17 percent to 189,849 cars in 2014 and 34 percent to 14,836 cars in February.

Porsche expects its sales to top 200,000 vehicles for the first time this year, as boosted by the Macan compact SUV it rolled out in April 2014 as demand for luxury units is seen to rise further thanks to gains in China and the United States.

 In 2014, Porsche saw its profit margin deep to 15.8 percent from 18 percent due to costs for adding the Macan to its lineup and revamping the Cayenne SUV. Despite that, its return on sales is still one of the highest among global carmakers.

Porsche will concentrate its development efforts on engines and handling instead of focusing on the latest in in-car Internet and automated driving. According to its CEO, Porsche’s customers don’t want a “smartphone on four wheels or the biggest touchscreen in the center console.”

Mueller remarked that there is no room for “window dressing.” He remarked that an electric car would help Porsche comply with stiffening environmental regulations, adding that the unit would have a range of over 500 kilometers (310 miles).

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