Porsche CEO – “Tesla Is Not A Benchmark For Us”

White Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo, Geneva


With reports of some automakers benchmarking the Tesla Model 3, what is Porsche’s stance?

We’ve all heard time and time again that the upcoming Porsche Mission E will be a true Tesla Model S competitor. This makes sense since it will be a luxury electric sedan with room for more than a few passengers. Though it seems that Porsche is following Tesla’s lead in more than a few ways, CEO Oliver Blume says the Mission E isn’t a Model S challenger.

This comment is a bit interesting since we previously reported that Porsche’s North American CEO has a very different view.


Porsche Mission ENonetheless, as the German performance automaker pumps $7.4 billion into its electric car efforts, apparently Tesla is not on its radar. Porsche plans to electrify about a third of its vehicle lineup by 2022.

The Mission E battery-electric sedan (which doesn’t have an official name yet) will be the first offering, followed by the Cross Turismo SUV. The automaker is also making plans for a fast-charging network.

The Mission E’s specs certainly rival the Tesla Model S and there is no other pure-electric, high-performance sedan on the market at this point. But, at a recent press conference, CEO Oliver Blume shared:

“Tesla is not a benchmark for us.”

It seems that this was really a nice way of saying that Porsche intends for its electric sedan to be a giant leap above the Tesla Model S, especially in terms of charging. With its 800-volt battery, the car will accept an 80-percent charge in a mere 15 minutes. The 400-volt variant will do the same in about 40 minutes.

Porsche is joining Formula E next season with an iteration of the Mission E to get a better grasp of the vehicle’s motor and thermal management systems.

Source: Forbes

Prototype Porsche Mission E out testing with Teslas
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Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Michael's Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla Tesla Model S Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla Tesla Mode Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Tesla Model S P100D Inside the Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla Tesla Model S Interior, Image Credit: Tesla Inside a Tesla Model S

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48 Comments on "Porsche CEO – “Tesla Is Not A Benchmark For Us”"

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From article: “CEO Oliver Bloom says the Mission E isn’t a Model S challenger….the German performance automaker pumps $7.4 billion into its electric car efforts, apparently Tesla is not on its radar. ..”

If not for Tesla there would not today be a Porsche Mission E in development… period.

The two top priorities on the VW Group’s radar are: 1) Response to Tesla as a serious competitive threat. 2) Recover strategy from “dieselgate”. Those two items by happenstance are interlinked.

It’s understandable that Porsche’s CEO wants to minimize the appearance that Porsche is being reactive to Tesla. My hope is the the Mission E is hugely successful and is a serious competitor to Tesla’s Model S.

“If not for Tesla there would not today be a Porsche Mission E in development… period.” This is only partially true. I think they at more worried about what BMW and Mercedes at doing. Tesla is more like the crack in the dam. As much as we talk about Tesla on this site they are a VERY SMALL automaker. Tesla is a disruption to the norm, but they are predictable.

The big guys are watching each other. The Bolt for all I’d shortcomings scares them more than the model 3 because it shows how far GM is on their development curve. Nissan is coming out with a Bolt competitor 2 years after it’s release. Do you think GM’s development stopped after the Bolt’s development? All the automakers are slowing showing the cards in hand. The next 2 years is going to be interesting.

Was roadster 2.0 predictable? And the Bolt is just a proxy displaying LG’s component development. Oh, Model S is getting up there in age. I doubt Tesla is sitting still (see fist point)

The Tesla Semi Truck was far from predictable, too. It is rather far from what I predicted, at least! Arguably that will be more disruptive than the Roadster Mk II.

Yeah, calling Tesla “predictable” is… well, it’s just wrong.

@ theflew said: “Do you think GM’s development stopped after the Bolt’s development?”


But what is important to Porsche is preservation of existing market share with desire to gain additional market share. Porsche today is not loosing market share to GM. Porsche today is loosing market share to Tesla… including in Porsche’s own back yard of West Germany: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/tesla-german-auto-giants-face-a-new-electric-rival-a-1167633-amp.html

Excluding myself, in my USA house neighborhood there is one ex-Porsche owner and two ex-BMW owners that have crossed over to Tesla… and two other neighbors with a Tesla on order. Not a single ex-Tesla owner in my neighborhood. That’s an unscientific small sample that may be anomalous but alternatively it may be representative of the serious competitive threat that Tesla already is today for Porsche.


It is unreliable. Tesla is to young a compan for large ex croud 😉 but ex others sample is okish, and in line of falling sales for most luxury models that overlap in price with Tesla S/X

There will be many ex-tesla owners in your neighborhood in 5 years time 😉

Porche isn’t exactly large, and Tesla has hit them very hard in part of their market segment, in key markets like California. Not only that, Porche Is about performance, and all those embarrassing YouTube videos take a toll.

Of course Tesla is their benchmark. But admitting it would just be giving Tesla free points.

Porsche has never sold more cars then now.
I doubt Tesla has really been a competitor to them. Noe with their EVs on the other hand – there may be competition. Maybe.
Brands, loyalty and stuff like that matter.
I think many Porsche customers would never consider Tesla, and vice versa.

“Porsche has never sold more cars then now.”

Interesting, thanks. Googling a bit, I see Porsche’s sales are up all over the world, and their China market has grown from insignificance to their biggest region.

At least through 2015, which is the end of the data on the chart linked below, it certainly didn’t appear that Tesla was eating Porsche’s lunch! The only downtrend appears to coincided with the “Great Recession” which started in 2008.


Cayenne sales fell more than 11% in 2017. Panamera sales were down till the new model in 2017, and even then did not recover the numbers of the previous model in 2009/2010, despite a much larger overall market. It’s not the totals, it’s the breakdown. Blackberry sales rose for years after the iPhone was introduced, but the iPhone was taking key sectors of the market. It’s not a perfect analogy: many Porsche buyers want an engine, so Porsche will always survive, but it’s hitting their four door offerings for sure.
The proof is that the mission E is a four door model. This is not a coincidence.

Tesla could be bigger than Porsche 2018. 2017 Porsche sold 240′ cars. Tesla sold just north of 100k 2017 and now with Model 3 taking off they could beat that 🙂

Optimistic. The Model 3 hasn’t taken off yet.
100k for the year seems more realistic.

But it will be interesting to see when they start reaching levels of competition.

Volvo at 5-600k and the German premium brands at 2 million+ sales still are pretty far away.

What I find funny is their first head to head video is against Tesla cars.

Not any of the sport-cars that compete with them, not with their own ICE versions.

But against Tesla, that says something.

Or was that the Jaguar, you know what? It does not matter, all these sport-cars just blur together in my mind.

Sorry, I am not your market. Me it looks like Tesla or Bottinger.

Without a Tesla won’t be ANY electric car in the market, I guess you missed the “who killed the electric car documentary” also go back and read how all this automakers use to laugh about Tesla just few years ago. I know is Painful for some but Tesla has been disrupting. So the billions they are spending are because of Tesla. One more thing, because of Electrics and PHEV Diesel is the way out for small cars.

That may be your your opinion but factually there was a lot of electric car R&D going on even back in the 1990’s Battery improvements by far have more impact on the EV market than Tesla ever has or will.

I’m not against Tesla, but I think they get way too much credit in this area of opinion.

Yes, the ICE companies who did all that research and built EV’s in the 1990’s certainly did have a huge lead over Tesla, before Tesla was even created.

Then those exact same ICE companies literally sued so they wouldn’t have to make those EV’s, and lobbied all levels of gov’t to gut the same regulations that would help them sell more EV’s.

Now they are doing it all again, with Scott Pruit heading up the EPA to give them everything they want. Gut CARB, gut the EPA, gut CAFE, they are working on it all now, while everybody is distracted by the tweet of the minute coming from the White House.

Porsche is able to sell its cars/suvs at a premium to other manufacturers. Probably they can continue this in the EV/PHEV market (we’ll see). They are hugely profitable, contributing far more to VW than their volume would suggest.

It is getting to be time to see a replacement for the current Tesla model S. Seems like this is more important than a new roadster. Perhaps the new roadster’s power systems will be the basis for the new MS.

Of course Tesla is not on the radar of Porsche anymore. Tesla has a headstart of almost a decade, and in order to spot the first roadster (the one that is piloted by Starman), one would need a telescope with a 600 m diameter dish. Porsche does not have one of those.
Also, what is the point in creating a benchmark where the own sporty car looses in about every spec available in terms of sportyness, to a family sedan that was first unveiled almost a decade ago? Watch that video from the red-light start race between the Mustang and a Porsche, filmed ironically by the backside camera of a Tesla, that coincidentially stopped next to the other two cars at the red light and was just acellerating regularly…
Porsche is right to benchmark the Misson E not against Tesla, but rather the other Porsche line-up. The goal of this project is not to win back Tesla’s customers, but to keep the Porsche customers from turning into Tesla customers.

well said!
“The goal of this project is not to win back Tesla’s customers, but to keep the Porsche customers from turning into Tesla customers.”

Which of the legacy ICE OEMs have made a statement regarding Tesla, as their own internal “Benchmark”, in following and patterning their own in house R&D EV program?

Maybe VW comes the closest in intentions, but Jaguar is leading out in front, by putting down first tracks later this year.

VW hit the floor with the eGolf dumbass. How could Jag lay the tracks first next year. What an idiot statement, but look at the source.

leave it in the ground

Oliver bloom, that some big BS, youre talking.
Tesla is on every automotive maker, and certainly yours since Porsche is loosing customers to Tesla.

There would NOT be any Mission E if Tesla wouldn’t existed. Period.

If you go read from original source, he rwally says nothing like what Forbes was suggesting. IEVs and Electrek are both quoting a bad source.

According to quartz (qz), the Porsche CEO said, “lot of respect for Elon Musk (Tesla’s founder and CEO) and how he has changed the world, but that Tesla isn’t a benchmark for Porsche. Everything we do has to be typical of us.”

Citing a reply to a comment I made on Elektrek. By M McBride.

I doubt Porsche would ever admit to benchmarking anyone so this isn’t surprising. But, I agree with others that Porsche would still be content to rest on its ICE if Tesla wasn’t snapping up potential customers.

Of course the Model S is not the benchmark. Porsche makes sports cars. Model S happens to be a very quick in a straight line sedan. Porsche is benchmarking sports cars that can be taken to the track.

“Tesla is not a benchmark for us.”

Nothing to see here..

If Tesla isn’t a benchmark for Porsche why did they so carefully leak the Mission E fronk?

This shows that Porsche KNOWS they will miss the mark. They can’t quite meet the model S spec now and maintain their precious margins. Does anyone think that Tesla won’t update the Model S and X between now and 2019? Most likely with more range and performance for less $. A switch to a 2170 battery pack perhaps. New interior, better motor cooling, potentially lower weight (improved handling) for the same kWh. Upgraded superchargers. Does anyone think Telsa is standing still on the S and X? Not me. The Porsche is beautiful though and they’ve got great engineers. But they’ve got to overcome their battery problem – no Gigafactory, Tut tut. Also there is no way that the Mission E will go far at 100 mi/h as the range will drop to less than 200 mi. Their Aero doesn’t look quite as good as the Model S. This makes a big difference at high speeds. That’s roughly only two hours on the autobahn at high speeds before the range axienity kicks in. Ach mein Gott!

Well of course he would say that. What world-class auto maker would want to admit they have become merely a follower, rather than a leader?

We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader,
We’re following the leader,
Wherever he may go.

This is just pure marketing speech, but entirely expected to save face. Practically everyone making a premium EV will have the Tesla as a benchmark. That’s why they buy Teslas to disassemble and comparison test against (we’ve seen this reported multiple times). You don’t see them taking a Leaf and doing so.

I bet they have studied the Leaf too. Why not, if it takes several billions to develop a car, you should do your homework.

Every automaker has to know every detail about the competition.

Apparently the “benchmark” quote comes from an original Forbes article that got the translation wrong.

He basically said they are going their own way. Which is to say, probably pursuing more sports car performance instead of large luxury sedan.

No, he wanted to say we benchmarked that car as you can see in those pics, but the car is a joke and therefore no benchmark for us

corrected translation from German:
“We are not able to reach the Tesla benchmark”

Joking aside, there are enough different ICE market sectors that still don’t have any EV’s that compete in those sectors that Porsche would actually be better off targeting one of those market sectors instead of trying to compete head to head with Tesla.

We need more competition with ICE cars than we need competition between EV’s.

If Tesla is not a benchmark of them why does he care why does he even mention their name

Flattery regardless for Tesla


Has Porsche started building the charging infrastructure in the US? Until then slow charging. Porsche still must buy batteries through a middlemen guy possibly slowing production and less competitive. Will it have WiFi for updates and new features?

Which is true. There’s nothing wrong with saying it. Tesla products have garbage quality engineering and materials wise compared to what Porsche put out 10 years ago.

Thank you Porsche for being the benchmark of ICE cars and Tesla of EV’S.

Well… (speaking from Europe’s perspective) I am not sure how that really looks in US, but as long as Porsche is a luxury sport brand manufacturer, Tesla is definitely not. Teslas are great straight line performers due to massive torque coming from electric motors. Kudos to Elon’s forward thinking, implementing great manufacturing visons and pushing industry delvelopment forward. However, Porsche and Tesla mostly play in different leagues with no disregard to any of these two brands.

Yeah, right.
Though I doubt Porsche can match the mechanical simplicity of Tesla.
That said, I await the rollout of more EVs from more manufacturers.