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Porsche holds firm on 2020 EV targets despite coronavirus concerns

The automaker says it believes the Taycan Cross Turismo and other future EV projects are still on schedule.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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Considering how close the Mission E concept and the eventual Taycan are, it's not unreasonable to expect the Taycan Cross Turismo to look pretty much as it does here in concept form.

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Porsche has already announced a two-week shutdown of its German facilities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But, despite the setbacks, Porsche's top brass is confident that 2020 can be even better than 2019 was.

Porsche on Friday held its annual press conference regarding the state of the automaker. 2019 was good for the German OEM, with sales up 10% and sales revenue up 11%. As is the case across the industry, much of that growth came from increased SUV sales. sales are up 29% year over year, with also showing strong growth at 18%.

At last year's press conference, the was still a mystery. Now, a year later, Porsche has received tens of thousands of strong purchase inquiries, and the Taycan's sales can now contribute to Porsche's bottom line. Given the model's release close to the start of 2020, it'll likely be some time before we see how strong that contribution actually is.

Nevertheless, Porsche remains focused on its electrification strategy and creating a cleaner environment around those ideas. Taycan resulted in 2,000 new Porsche jobs, and the company intends to invest approximately $11 billion in electrification and hybridization by 2024. This includes not only the Porsche Taycan, but its lifted sibling the Taycan Cross Turismo as well as the forthcoming all-electric Macan, which will herald a new generation of Porsche's compact SUV around 2022.

The Taycan Cross Turismo is scheduled to make its debut later this year, and it appears the coronavirus will not change that. ""Our preparation for [the Taycan] Cross Turismo is in good shape," Porsche Chairman Oliver Blume said in a roundtable interview on Thursday, ahead of the press conference. Blume pointed out that a two-week production stop shouldn't have an effect, but he also acknowledged that the pace at which news has developed, it's too early to confirm anything.

Porsche's optimism is, at the moment, best described as cautious. The automaker still aims for a 15% return on sales, about where 2019 was. The appearance of the coronavirus happened during a period of big transition, both for Porsche and for the automotive industry in general, but Blume said during the roundtable that the automaker has introduced every measure it can to mitigate negative effects on its employees and the business at large.

No matter what, Porsche remains dedicated to electrification. The automaker anticipates that by the middle of the decade 50% of its product sales will be electrified in some way. Porsche board member Lutz Meschke summed up the company's current thoughts: "After the crisis, we will be stronger than ever."

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S does the electric slide in Finland

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