The company needs to get profitable in other businesses.
Porsche remains one of the modern symbols of the automotive industry. It’s still the epitome of driving pleasure and this won’t change likely for decades. However, while the brand may be one the last to embrace autonomous technologies, it can’t just keep selling traditional cars forever. That’s the unpleasant reality and the company knows that pretty well.
In a recent interview with Autocar, the company’s finance and IT boss, Lutz Meschke, admitted Porsche needs to invest in firms trying to solve traffic issues to survive in the long-term future. “Cities want to reduce traffic, therefore we have to look for solutions which fit our brand. Shared mobility is not enough - it will not bring us significant profit share,” Meschke commented. “If you want to get a piece of the cake, you have to think about investments in other brands or in traffic solutions. Just to talk about Porsche cars to get the right fit for future mobility, that’s not enough. We must think about investments, start-ups, to get profitability in other businesses.”
That’s a rather honest confession and we are surprised to hear it from a Porsche executive but we admire it. Last year, Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche in North America, said that the marque will keep the steering wheel, pedals, and manual gearbox forever, which suggests its autonomous and car-sharing services could be launched under a different brand. Porsche’s subscription service in America is a “good starting point” and probably hints at the direction of development for such services and technologies within the automaker.
“Today our customers are willing to buy two, three, four Porsches, but in the future, maybe they will buy one or two and for mobility in cities, they will use other services. We have to think about business models that can balance these potential losses,” Meschke added.