Tesla Inc (TSLA) has faced steep declines in its stock price, which has fallen almost 37% since its high in December of 2018. Now, the company's flagship vehicle, the Model S sedan, is facing stiff competition from Taycan, the Porsche SE electric sports car. Porsche has already passed 30,000 reservations for the Taycan, prompting the luxury auto maker to boost its production plans. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has shifted the company's focus and money toward the low-price Model 3, and now many electric car enthusiasts – including a good number of Tesla owners – are looking elsewhere for a luxury vehicle alternative to the aging Model S. Porsche North America president and CEO Klaus Zellmer has said that, as of January of 2019, the number one source of interest in the Taycan was Tesla owners, according to reporting by Business Insider.
A Closer Look at the Taycan
Porsche indicates that the Taycan sports 600 hp in an 800 V system. The vehicle has a driving range of more than 500 kilometers, or just under 311 miles, and it accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (over 62 miles per hour) in just 3.5 seconds.
Besides these impressive specs, Porsche has a manufacturing advantage over less-established Tesla: with massive manufacturing experience and facilities, Porsche can expect to meet customer orders in a timely fashion and without quality issues, two problems that have dragged Tesla down in the past.
Electric the Way of the Future
About a month ahead of the unveiling of the Taycan, with roughly 30,000 reservations, Porsche may see more sales of its new luxury electric vehicle than its traditional 911 sports car. Bloomberg reports that the company sold 35,600 911s last year and that Porsche parent company Volkswagen AG is seeking to bolster the appeal of electric cars in general as it prepares to launch a larger array of battery-powered cars across multiple price ranges. Porsche is making a big bet on the Taycan; according to a MarketWatch column, the car manufacturer has invested about $6.7 billion in developing the new vehicle, hiring 1,200 employees in the process. The Taycan will differ from the company's preexisting plug-in hybrid, the Panamera, in that the new car is built from the ground up with a custom platform which can then be used in multiple other versions of the car.
What Comes Next
The Taycan is set to launch in September and could signal a major shift toward electric for fans of luxury vehicles. The question is whether Tesla will be able to capitalize on this enthusiasm or not.