First year of Porsche Taycan production may already be sold out

Porsche USA CEO says that in preorders, Tesla is the No. 1 conquest brand

The Porsche Taycan EV doesn't begin production until the middle of next year, with deliveries at least a year away. Nevertheless, Porsche has done so well with Taycan preorders that earlier this month company CEO Oliver Blume said it would increase production. At the L.A. Auto Show, Porsche USA CEO Klaus Zellmer told CNET, "If all the people [who preordered] buy this car, then we are sold out for the first year." We aren't sure if Zellmer referred to the U.S. market specifically, but many thousands of hand-raisers have popped up all over the world.

We've read the company initially planned on producing 20,000 units per year, but the increased figure could go as high as 30,000, split between the sedan and the Taycan Sport Turismo. Confident in the product and the potential, Porsche planned for the bump by giving the Zuffenhausen facility, which will build the EV, a dedicated assembly line and paint shop.

In EV-hungry Norway, Porsche typically sells 600 new cars per year. When the Taycan preorder site opened there, nearly 3,000 potential buyers paid refundable deposits of roughly $2,250 to put their names on the build list. There's been a similar response in the United States based on Internet stories and comments about what's happening at the roughly 200 Porsche dealers. It appears dealers don't know their allotments yet, but Inside EVs said it will be "as many as 50" per store. If all dealers got 50 Taycans, that would make for around 10,000 U.S.-bound units, an entirely reasonable number with respect to Zellmer's comments.

Seems the deposit process isn't as straightforward in the U.S. as it is in Norway, France and Belgium, though. One U.S. hand-raiser wrote that the Porsche dealership in Bellevue, Washington, didn't ask for any money when he submitted his information, instead telling him that the dealer "will hold off on taking the $2,500 deposit Porsche will require until another date. We want you to keep your money working for you." Someone else, commenting on a different site, said he put down a $5,000 deposit and was 33rd in line at his unnamed dealer. A third registrant, mentioning that same Bellevue dealer, implied he hadn't paid anything either, but that buyers had attempted to make deposits as a way to jump the line.

Who are these people? According to Zellmer, over half the signups come from people who have never owned or don't now own a Porsche. The key bit of intel, however, was when Zellmer indicated where conquest buyers have come from. "Typically, if we look at our source of business," he said, "people coming from other brands, it's Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. The No. 1 brand now is Tesla."

A Norwegian intender said he felt his Tesla Model S leaned too much toward being a family car, and he signed up for the Taycan to get into something more focused on performance. Considering what the Model S can do, that's a fascinating rationale. But we'll likely discover a bunch more fascinating things about the Taycan and its effect on the market by the time it arrives.

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