Despite monumental demand.
In the US, as the global pandemic caused scores of 2020 Chevrolet Corvette customers to fret the plausibility of receiving their cars before production switched over to the 2021 model year, there was another hot new sports car in peril: the Porsche Taycan.
Demand for Porsche's first mass-market EV has exceeded the marque's expectations, prompting Porsche to double its annual production capacity to 40,000 units. But in the span from December of last year to this past March, the German automaker tallied only about 350 deliveries in the United States, due primarily to a temporary shutdown at its Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart, Germany.
In all, the Zuffenhausen assembly plant spent about six weeks under lockdown, from early-April to mid-May. That's a six-week span that had been "very much reserved for fulfilling the U.S. demand," Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, told Automotive News last week. "We had to take thousands of cars out of our sales plan for this year that we will not get into the United States and Canada."
The US is an especially large market for Porsche - so large, in fact, that Porsche opted to make it the launch market for the brand new Taycan. The Super Bowl ad that Porsche ran to promote the Taycan earlier this year was, according to Automotive News, the company's first advertisement during the big game in more than 20 years.
The last time the sports car manufacturer ran a Super Bowl commercial, it was advertising the first-ever Porsche Boxster.
"This is a new era for Porsche," Zellmer told Automotive News, underscoring the Taycan's significance. "This is a milestone that is only comparable to us coming from two-door sports cars and selling an SUV in 2002."
It's unknown when Porsche will be switching its Zuffenhausen plant over to the 2021 model year, or whether it might consider extending 2020 production if it has trouble filling extant 2020 orders as Chevrolet has done with the new Corvette.