Porsche expects U.S. retail sales to increase 17 percent over last year, the automaker told dealers at its NADA make meeting on Thursday.
Much of that momentum will be powered by Porsche's newest nameplate, the Taycan. Porsche projects U.S. sales of the electric fastback to double this year, dealers were told.
Porsche delivered 4,414 Taycans last year. That number could have been far greater had the pandemic not halted production just as U.S.-market Taycans were getting ready to be built.
At the make meeting, dealers asked about the prospect of an all-wheel-drive version of the entry-level Taycan, which would be popular in Snowbelt markets.
Porsche executives said they are pushing for the variant but noted it could be at least two years away.
Porsche knows that the "competition demands it and the dealers need it," said Mike Sullivan, chairman of the Porsche Dealer Board of Regents and owner of the LAcarGuy dealership group in Southern California, which includes Porsche South Bay in Hawthorne, Calif.
Strong sales also drove dealer profits. Dealer return on sales hit 4.4 percent last year.
"In a year that was a disaster from an operational standpoint, it turned out to be the most profitable year for the dealers they've ever had," Sullivan said. "As uncomfortable as it was during the year, the end result was really just excellent."
Dealers at the meeting clamored for more product on their lots.
"The biggest challenge in the network right now is inventory shortages, which is a good problem to have," said Greg Gates, vice president of Swickard Auto Group, which operates a Porsche store in Bellingham, Wash.
While strong demand for Porsche's iconic sports cars exacerbated the inventory shortage, pandemic-related production shutdowns in Europe last year helped drive it.
"When Porsche had to make production decisions back in April and May, they didn't know exactly what the world was going to look like," Gates said. "They were understandably cautious, and that's led to some shortages."
Dealers said they're especially feeling the pinch in 911 supply. December was the best-ever month for 911 sales, with more than 1,500 deliveries.
"We're basically sold out," Sullivan said.