Porsche has found itself in the good graces of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is pretty odd considering it’s the only brand we know of that offers leather-lined vents. The activist group is praising the sports car manufacturer’s handling of reports that some of its dealerships were set to feature tigers or tiger cubs at the local launch events for the Macan. Apparently, “macan” is the Malay word for tiger, which explains the connection between a highly touted crossover and a jungle cat.
A Tampa, FL dealership already displayed some three-week-old cubs, with PETA saying tigers for display should be at least eight to 12 weeks old. Even then, the group argues that the animals can suffer due to stress, malnourishment, neglect and a lack of veterinary care. The group brings up legal concerns, as well, arguing that if one of the cubs bit a customer, the dealership could be held liable (we’re no big cat experts, but it seems unlikely a three-week-old cub could do that much damage).
Porsche’s PR department quickly reacted to PETA’s claims, with Vice President of Marketing Andre Oosthuizen, telling the group that Porsche is concerned about the “welfare of any animal, large or small, wild or domesticated.” Oosthuizen’s statements were reported in an official PETA blog.
According to that blog, which reported on Porsche’s handling of the situation, Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America issued a “forceful communication urging all dealers to refrain from” displaying the tigers at Macan events.
“Over the next few days, our field force across the country will personally make contact with every Porsche dealer to reinforce our appeal that no animals whatsoever be used in any dealer activity,” Oosthuizen told the activist group.
All told, it seems like the matter was pretty well handled by Porsche. We’ve reached out to Porsche for additional comment, and will update this story when we hear back.