Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

I see the Indian luxury auto market growing faster than the global market: Porsche's Detlev von Platen

On a visit to India, Detlev von Platen, the automaker's executive board for sales and marketing, spoke to Forbes India about the company's latest offerings, plans on electrification, and what he thinks of the Indian market

Anubhuti Matta
Published: Aug 23, 2023 04:05:49 PM IST
Updated: Mar 29, 2024 05:51:35 PM IST

I see the Indian luxury auto market growing faster than the global market: Porsche's Detlev von PlatenDetlev von Platen, executive board for sales and marketing, Porsche AG. Image: Amit Verma

In 2022, Porsche India delivered 779 cars in the country. With roughly 4,000 customers in India, the German luxury sports car maker has already sold 350 cars this year.

Priced between Rs 88 lakh and Rs 4.26 crore, the automaker has no plans to manufacture in India, but is aiming to strengthen its presence with 10 showrooms in the country by the end of the year, says Detlev von Platen, a member of the executive board for sales and marketing.

While Europe is Porsche’s largest market, followed by the US and China, India, too, is becoming an important, adds von Platen.

On a visit to India, he spoke to Forbes India about the company’s latest offerings, plans on electrification, and what he thinks of the Indian market. Edited excerpts:

Q. The luxury auto market in India has been experiencing significant growth. How does Porsche view this trend, and what factors do you believe have contributed to this growth?

There are multiple factors, including the most important, that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a growing population. The country also has a burgeoning affluent class. People now also have a greater appreciation for luxury brands and I see the Indian premium or luxury automotive market growing faster than the global auto market. As a company, Porsche India is focusing on providing personalised services to deliver exclusivity, which I also believe has contributed to its growth.

Q. How does Porsche balance its global brand identity with catering to the unique preferences of Indian consumers?

We run an Exclusive Manufaktur programme to help customers customise and personalise their vehicles. We also work closely with our team in India with the view to homologating—certifying that a vehicle is roadworthy and matches the government criteria—more models for the Indian market in the future. However, currently, we have no plans for manufacturing in India.

Also read: 5 things you should know about Porsche, luxury carmaker with storied history

Q. How is Porsche approaching sustainable mobility in the Indian context, and are there any plans to introduce more environmentally-friendly technologies or initiatives?

The Porsche Taycan, our first battery-electric vehicle, accounted for 10 percent of its sales in India last year. We are planning to roll out the all-electric Macan in 2024, including in India. We are also planning all-electric versions of the 718 by the middle of this decade and the all-electric Cayenne.

Additionally, we plan to expand our product portfolio with a new all-electric performance-focussed SUV in the segment above Cayenne. We are also installing Porsche Destination Chargers all around the world, including India, and our Porsche Centres are also working on charging plans. It is a global charging network through which we offer drivers of fully electric Porsche cars and plug-in hybrids convenient charging options at destinations such as hotels, restaurants, golf clubs, and marinas.

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Q. What do you see as the major challenges and opportunities for Porsche as you continue to navigate the Indian luxury auto sector?

We are here not to look at challenges but at opportunities. India's growing middle and upper-middle-class population presents a significant opportunity for luxury automakers. With the global and Indian emphasis on sustainability and reduced carbon emissions, the shift towards electric mobility aligns well with Porsche's mission. As the infrastructure is improving, there is substantial potential for our electric models. India is an important market, we observe it very closely, and are here to learn more.