Porsche Taycan outsold the 911 in record-setting 2021

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An 11% increase in deliveries propelled Porsche to a record year in 2021. Other luxury carmakers reported similarly strong sales, including sister companies Lamborghini and Bentley, and 2021 also marked the first time that the Taycan outsold the emblematic 911.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker delivered 301,915 vehicles in 2021, the highest number recorded since its inception. In some ways, it's business as usual. SUVs still rule supreme (Porsche delivered 88,362 units of the Macan, its best-selling model, and 83,071 examples of the Cayenne, its second-best-selling model), and China remains its largest market by a long shot. Chinese buyers took delivery of 95,671 Porsches, compared to 70,025 deliveries in the United States and 86,160 in Europe (including 28,565 cars delivered in Germany).

In other ways, the status quo has been changed. Taycan deliveries more than doubled to 41,296 in 2021, and the electric four-door is now positioned as Porsche's third-best-selling model. It's ahead of the 911 (38,464 deliveries) and far ahead of the Panamera (30,220 units delivered including the short- and long-wheelbase sedans and the Sport Turismo wagon). The 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster duo finished last with 20,502 deliveries combined. Both capture the essence of the Porsche brand but neither were envisioned as high-volume models.

While the United States isn't Porsche's largest market, one of the more telling statistics in the company's sales release is that deliveries in our market skyrocketed by 22% in 2021. In contrast, China and Europe posted relatively small increases of 8% and 7%, respectively.

Porsche has a lot to celebrate as it looks forward to 2022, and it's more successful than ever, but it stressed that it's not chasing volume.

"Demand remains high, and our order books are looking very robust, so we start 2022 full of momentum and confidence in all regions of the world," said Detlev von Platen, Porsche's board member for sales and marketing. "At the same time, unit sales are not the decisive factor for us. Rather, we want to stand for exclusive and unique customer experiences and will continue to expand these worldwide."

Crossing the 300,000-unit threshold represents a significant milestone for Porsche; it's one that illustrates the effort that the company has put into renewing its range over the past few decades. For context, it sold 11,241 cars in the United States in 1981, and 2,849 units of the 911 here in 1991 — that was its best-selling model that year. Fast-forward to 2011, and Porsche's annual deliveries soared above the 100,000-unit mark for the first time to reach 118,868 cars, a feat which was widely celebrated (and credited to the Cayenne) at the time.

And, don't let the Taycan versus 911 comparison fool you. Keep in mind that we're comparing a four-door sedan with a two-door model, so seeing the former outsell the latter is not startling. Interest in the 911 remains high and healthy: Porsche sold 17,607 units of the 911 back in 2011.

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