European Business: With Porsche Digital and the partnership with the start-up Home-iX, Porsche is now entering the digital transformation market. What goals do you have in this regard?
Oliver Blume: Our customers’ demands on individual mobility are changing drastically. We want to develop Porsche into a leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium segment for automobiles. In the medium term, we will earn a double-digit percentage of our turnover with digital services. Digitalization primarily concerns the core areas of our company. These include the most modern work stations, processes and Production 4.0. Our employees are set to become drivers of digital transformation through the expansion of digital literacy – and thereby to create a new culture of innovation in the company.
Of course, digitalization also plays an increasingly important role in our cars. Connected cars and self-driving vehicles are topics that are keeping all carmakers busy, and therefore us as well. With the establishment of Porsche Digital GmbH and Porsche Digital Lab, we have created the best preconditions for our path into the digital future of automobiles.
We want to develop Porsche into a leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium segment for automobiles. Oliver BlumeChairman of the Executive Board
European Business: The automotive industry is in a state of radical change. E-mobility and new driving systems are increasingly in demand. How will Porsche respond to these trends in the future?
Oliver Blume: The future belongs to electromobility. Nonetheless, we see a trio with regard to driving concepts for the next few years: We will launch more optimized combustion engines, offer highly attractive hybrid models and introduce the first fully electrically powered sports car, the Mission E, to the market by the end of the decade. With the Mission E, we combine the traditional Porsche gene with the technology of tomorrow. Furthermore: Porsche was the first manufacturer to offer ultra-modern plug-in hybrid models in three premium segments at the same time – the 918, the Cayenne and the Panamera. We already offer two hybrid versions in the new Panamera. With the V8 hybrid in the Panamera Turbo S, with nearly 700 hp and an electric range of 50 km, it was the first time we spearheaded a model series with a hybrid version.
European Business: Germany as an automotive location still holds a leadership role, but the competition never sleeps, and brands like Toyota and Tesla in particular are market leaders in the e-mobile sector. Can the German automotive industry keep up in the long term?
Oliver Blume: The automotive industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. It is on the brink of a radical change in the system. Electrification, digitalization and connectivity are the three major trends. New providers are hitting the market with new business models. Without a doubt, this presents the established manufacturers and their suppliers with sizeable challenges – not only in Germany. Porsche takes these challenges very seriously. However, we see the transformation of our industry not as a threat, but most of all as an enormous opportunity. We are preparing intensively for the future. Our Porsche Strategy 2025 was drawn up with a consistent future orientation. Every successful strategy includes the willingness to challenge yourself constantly and to modernize. Innovations are the key to the future. They unfold when ideas become reality. Porsche lives on innovations. In motor racing in particular, you are the first to cross the finish line if you are more innovative than the others. Quality and decades of experience are no guarantee for future successes, but a good foundation. In short: The German car industry and Porsche will not only keep up in the future; we will maintain our position at the top.
The automotive industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Oliver BlumeChairman of the Executive Board
European Business: Your cars stand for sporty driving. Will Porsche live up to this expectation in the future, even with alternative engines?
Oliver Blume: There’s absolutely no doubt about that. The sports car of the future not only combines Porsche’s tradition and values with new technologies and sustainability, but stands just as much for an emotional driving experience. The sporty design clearly has priority with the Mission E. E-mobility and performance are not a contradiction for us – on the contrary. The Mission E will be the sportiest and most technologically advanced vehicle in its segment.
We build sports cars in a new era of mobility that drive like a Porsche, smell like a Porsche and feel like a Porsche. We combine the emotional fascination that has distinguished our products since the beginning with innovative possibilities to build the sports car of the future. A Porsche will always be a Porsche, regardless of its type of drive.
Interview: Sarah Urquhart