Porsche is positive about its China development this year, after its sales in the country hit a record in 2017 with strong SUV deliveries, according to senior executives at the German premium carmaker.
The automaker sold 71,508 cars in China last year, up 10 percent year-on-year, said Sheng Tantzscher, acting president and CEO of Porsche China, on Thursday.
"Looking forward, we are positive about 2018, despite some uncertainties in the automotive sector, and we expect our sales in China to grow faster than the global average," she said.
China has been Porsche's largest market since 2015 and its most popular models in the country are SUVs.
Combined sales of its Macan and Cayenne models stood at around 57,000 cars last year, some 80 percent of its total sales in the country, according to David Xiao, vice-president of sales at Porsche China.
"More Macans were sold than Cayennes in 2017, but Cayennes are expected to surpass Macans this year, as the new-generation Cayennes will hit the market soon," he said.
Xiao said Porsche is planning to introduce another SUV into its portfolio in 2019, and he expected Chinese customers' enthusiasm for such vehicles to continue for quite a while.
"As you can tell, not only Porsche, but also BMW, Mercedes-Benz and even electric car startups are launching SUVs. A number of factors, including the way Chinese people travel, have made SUVs indispensable to any Chinese family."
Porsche's two-door sports cars are also gaining popularity in China, with sales of the 718 series surging 148 percent year-on-year.
Its used car sales rose quickly as well. The carmaker said it sold 1,916 used cars in 2017, up 59 percent year-on-year, more than three times the overall sales growth rate of China's used car sector.
Spurred by such robust growth, Porsche is expanding its sales network. It now has 101 dealerships across China and is exploring different ways to allow its fans to experience its products.
Tantzscher said Porsche is gradually introducing new energy car models into its portfolio, saying the carmaker's first electric model, the Mission E, will hit the Chinese market in late 2019 or early 2020.
The model is part of Porsche's 6 billion euro (.37 billion) investment in its global electrification campaign by 2022.
In the long run, the carmaker will build a lineup of conventional fuel cars, electric models, and plug-in hybrids, with the latter two set to account for 25 percent to 30 percent of its total offerings within 10 years, Xiao said.
Just as it has in Europe, Porsche will help to build charging infrastructure in China as well.
According to Tantzscher, the company will start preparatory work this year and construction will begin in 2019.