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Porsche bets big on rich Indians for electric cars

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MICHAEL GONSALVES
Published Dec 14, 2019, 1:06 am IST
Updated Dec 14, 2019, 1:06 am IST
Believes the sport car will open up new customer segment.
Porsche India director Pavan Shetty and Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE CEO Manfred Bräunl, CEO pose with the new Cayenne Coupé.
 Porsche India director Pavan Shetty and Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE CEO Manfred Bräunl, CEO pose with the new Cayenne Coupé.

Pune: Porsche, the German super sport car maker, plans to start selling its all-electric Taycan model in India next year, betting big on the ultra-rich Indians who are willing to shell out as much as $370,000 on an electric car to make their lifestyle statement.

Local custom duties, registration fees and GST in India attract more than 170 per cent on this car but this is not expected to deter the rich and the famous in the country from owning a super sports car with a brand name like Porsche.

 

“After introducing three new products this year, we plan to launch our all-new electric car Taycan next year,” Pavan Shetty, director at Porsche India, told Financial Chronicle.

He said the ultra-rich Indians would not mind spending more money on electric cars to make a statement to protect the environment.

Mr Shetty said the brand new Porsche Taycan would open up a completely new segment of customers, who are not only sport-car owners, but also want to be seen as environmentally friendly. “We all want to be responsible, and the rich and the successful people have an option and the resources,” he said, adding that in the long term the electric car market would grow in India, Asia’s third biggest economy.

“We’re entering a phase where the rich are necessarily global citizens. If you own a Porsche, you don’t need an introduction. You’re already someone, it becomes your identity,” Shetty pointed out.

India produced millionaires at the fastest pace in Asia in 2017, according to a Capgemini SE report released last year, but its economy has slowed since then, hitting everything from buying cars to consuming biscuits.

Automobile sales in India, where cleaner and greener vehicles have yet to make a dent on the industry, have been falling for over a decade, making over 2-3 lakh workers jobless in auto factories and dealerships. “Despite challenges in the auto sector in India, we expect to match our last year sales in the country and be stable,” he said.

He said Porsche, which sold 350 cars last year in India, is looking to be closer to that number on the back of launches of its new Cayenne Coupe on Friday, and stabilise its marketshare with the launch of Porsche Taycan in July.

The Taycan was unveiled in China, Germany and Niagara Falls in September, with a starting price outside India of $150,900 and a potential base version costing below $100,000. That underscores the model’s central role in parent Volkswagen AG’s push to become a leader in battery-powered vehicles.

Iconic British brand MG Motor, now owned by Chinese giant SAIC Motor Corp., and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. are the only international carmakers that currently sell electric vehicles in India.

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