Genuine end of the diesel powered Porsche?
Something significant is happening in Porsche’s European sales. One year ago, Porsche - partly forced into it - started to remove its diesel powered cars from its line-up.
- Porsche 2016 West European diesel mix stood at 39 per cent
- In 2017 this fell 10ppts to a no less significant 29.5 per cent
The significant part of the story is…
Sales of Porsche vehicles haven’t dipped in the region but have grown.
During the opening 6-months of this year (2018) Porsche’s European sales increased by 9 per cent where effectively next to no diesels are currently being delivered. This is where Porsche becomes a litmus test, as it is one of the only car manufacturers that effectively stripped diesel all together out of its offering.
Although Porsche confirmed to me at the end of Q1 that they are not consigning diesel to the trash can just yet and are still waiting to see how market conditions play out. If things continue we may well have witnessed the last diesel powered Porsches. A source with close ties to a high ranking Porsche executive confirmed to me that Porsche are pleased with their PHEV sales selling above their expectations, but expected diesel nonetheless to make a return. No firm decision, or announcement has been made the source went on to say.
In Germany, Porsche’s largest European market, Porsche delivered 1,224 (-79.2%y/y) diesel in the opening 7-months of the year and just 10 units (-98.2%y/y) in July according to KBA data.
72 per cent of all Cayenne models sold in Western Europe as recently ago as 2016 were diesel powered in Western Europe and 57 per cent of all Macans sold in the region according to AID data.
What this means is Porsche customers are willing to purchase their relatively thirsty SUVs with a petrol engine, something that wasn’t so sure at the time.
Porsche’s Cayenne model and Panamera models are likely to increasingly be petrol powered PHEV plug-in hybrid variants, which will not impact average CO2 emissions negatively as was suggested as the move away from diesels first took place. Last year in Western Europe 41 per cent of all Panameras registered were PHEV derivatives. This made it the number one engine mix for Panamera customers in the region. With Cayenne PHEV deliveries just beginning, in Germany in July the PHEV Cayenne mix stood at 25 per cent.
Despite Porsche’s rising PHEV plug-in hybrid share of its sales its average CO2 is nonetheless still rising on the back of a falling diesel sales mix. In Germany after 7-months this year it stood at 194.5g/km up from 184.9g/km at the same time last year. With the Cayenne 2nd generation coming to market now, this should help in returning Porsche’s CO2 average into a downward direction. In July in Germany for instance Cayenne’s CO2 average was lower than the smaller and lighter Macan model at 184.3g/km and 188.3g/km respectively. The introduction of the Taycan all electric model next year will help Porsche CO2 average fall dramatically in 2020/21 thanks to the inclusion of super credits as well as the use of so called eco innovations expected to be in abundance on premium car sales.