January 26, 2024
SINGAPORE – German carmaker Porsche picked Singapore to launch its first electric sport utility vehicle on Jan 25 – the first time an international model unveiling has been held here.
The battery-powered Macan retains the name of its combustion-engined predecessor, the first-generation Macan that was launched in 2014. It is slightly bigger, and like most electric vehicles, significantly heavier.
It will be available in two variants initially. The lesser Macan 4 starts from $254,888 before certificate of entitlement (COE) and options, and promises a driving range of 613km. The more powerful Macan Turbo starts from $388,088 before COE and options, and has a claimed range of 591km.
Combustion-engined Macans, which will continue to be sold alongside the electric newcomer indefinitely, range from $269,088 to $389,588 before COE and options.
The German company that is part of Volkswagen Group announced in early 2022 that it was aiming for electric models to account for more than 80 per cent of its new car sales by 2030. The Taycan saloon, Porsche’s first electric model launched in 2019, accounted for around 13 per cent of sales in 2023.
However, Porsche vice-president (overseas and emerging markets) Matthias Becker would not say if this target was still realistic in the light of governments pulling back on EV subsidies.
“It may be a little more, or it may be a little less. The customer will decide whether he wants an EV or ICE car. We’re flexible,” he told The Straits Times on Jan 25, but added that he was convinced that “the world is getting electrified, because of (environmental) regulations”.
Dr Zafar Momin, an adjunct associate professor at the National University of Singapore Business School, said the new Macan “looks like a winner”, but its commercial success will be influenced by pricing and the price difference compared with the combustion engine version.
The former Boston Consulting automotive expert added: “The current Macan is the biggest seller in the Porsche portfolio and this new EV model could potentially grow that slice of the portfolio.”
The Macan has been Porsche’s bestselling model since it was introduced 10 years ago. In 2023, 87,355 were sold around the world, accounting for 27.3 per cent of total Porsche sales. The percentage share is higher in Singapore, which has one of the highest per capita population of luxury cars.
The Macan contributed to 35.4 per cent of sales here in 2021, when Porsches were still being sold through Stuttgart Auto, its dealer here for more than 30 years.
Porsche has since taken over as its own retailer in Singapore. Along with the launch of the electric Macan, the company officially opened its Guoco Midtown showroom in Bugis. The only car showroom in the area, the Porsche Studio spans 8,500 sq ft over two levels, and can display around six cars at a time.
Like many car showrooms today, it has an F&B outlet. Cafe Carrera is run by bakery chain Baker & Cook, and is open to the public.
In an adjacent block, the Porsche office occupies the sixth floor, where staff from Porsche Singapore, the regional office and the company-owned financing arm are housed.
The open-concept office has 66 desks shared by around 100 employees, facilitating hot-desking and hybrid work arrangements.
Porsche would not say how much it had invested in the new facilities, but said it has taken up long-term leases.