Oliver Blume is not only CEO of Porsche, but also CEO of Volkswagen and thus the only manager who is in charge of two DAX companies at the same time. In an interview with the British Car Magazine, he talks about new off-road sports cars, a possible hypercar, the development of the brand and motorsport. Here you will find his most important statements...
... on the 911 Dakar
Porsche took a lot of time to develop the Porsche 911 Dakar (see photo show). A few years ago, auto-motor-und-sport.de reported on the model, which was launched in November 2022, with the first prototypes. But how did Porsche come up with the idea for this car in the first place? "Everything we do is about listening to our customers," says Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. Porsche is able to combine history with modern technology. "Then we thought: 'Why not a third pillar, alongside the sporty GT and Heritage models? Why not off-road as well?'
That is then the third pillar in the product portfolio: alongside the GT models and the Heritage vehicles now also have a third mainstay with off-road: "The GT models, such as the GT2 RS, are very much geared towards motorsport. The Heritage models have a large product share. And now the 911 Dakar has a very high technical level," explains Blume. It all sounds as if there will be other off-road models, even if the 911 Dakar is limited to 2,500 copies? "Yes," says Oliver Blume , "We think so. As with the heritage versions, we will start with limited editions. Now we will see how the market success of the Dakar affects it. And then maybe there will be more. The door is now open..."
... to other models
In 2023, Porsche will be celebrating 60 years of the 911, 75 years of Porsche and the 80th birthday of Wolfgang Porsche. Can we therefore expect new models around the anniversaries, asks Car Magazine? "Of course you can count on them," Blume replies succinctly.And explains with regard to the other new products that in the future there will be a version with combustion engines, a hybrid version and a fully electric version in each segment.
The current 911 will be accompanied by a "very sporty" hybrid model. It will be "the model that we will drive with an internal combustion engine for as long as possible," said Blume. The 718 will be available as a fully electric sports car and with the SUV, the Cayenne will have a plug-in hybrid and the Macan will have an all-electric drive."So we have a clear strategy to drive electrification forward in the next few years, with the goal of delivering over 80 percent all-electric vehicles by 2030. It's a very strong rise curve."
And what about a new hypercar á la 918? "Porsche has always been successful with these types of hypercars because they have shown what is possible and because they have shown future technologies and innovative products. We will bring a hypercar when the time is right. Hypercars will therefore play a role for Porsche in the future. But nothing has been decided yet." Accordingly, the fans and customers should not expect a super sports car for the anniversary year 2023.
... on exclusivity and individualization
Looking at the configurator of the Porsche 911, customers can see the selection from 26 different models. This goes against the industry trend of streamlining the selection and reducing the complexity of the model lines. How do you do that, asks Car? "We're going in exactly the opposite direction and offer more exclusivity and more customization." Porsche believes that that to meet the needs of our customers.Starting with color choices, "we offer 160 different paint colors, I don't know of any other car manufacturer in the world that can offer that number of colors." Soon customers would be able to match their own color with theirs Creating names, an exclusive color that will only be produced once in the world, reveals Oliver Blume." We think that on the one hand this is the fulfillment of customer dreams and on the other hand that there is good business behind it."
... to the development of Porsche
Blume sums it up: "Despite difficult market conditions, Porsche deliveries increased by two percent in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the previous year." The business situation is "very good" and "very convincing" for investors. Nevertheless, Porsche does not focus on volume. "For us, volume is not and has not been our focus - and will not be in the future." Porsche is more focused on making customers' dreams come true with special cars like the 911 Dakar. For 2022, Porsche will reach more or less the same volume level as last year, despite the circumstances with supply chains, Ukraine war, etc. "If you look at our financial results, they are as strong as ever," says Blume. In this way, they are able to achieve average sales revenue of 100,000 euros per car worldwide and at the same time have economies of scale for the approximately 300,000 units per year from Volkswagen. "And so we can benefit a lot in my new dual role. What I learned at Porsche, what we developed at Porsche, we can now combine with my strategic role in the VW Group and thus combine the best of two worlds." By the way: the expenses for Porsche options are 20 percent.
.. on e-fuels
Blume sees Porsche at the forefront of car manufacturers when it comes to sustainability and climate protection and emphasizes the responsibility towards the coming generation.But he criticizes: "Sometimes the impression is given that there is a conflict between electromobility and synthetic fuels." However, this is not a conflict for Porsche. With its commitment to e-fuels, the carmaker has the cars in mind "that already exist in the world." That's already 1.3 billion cars. "That's a strong, crazy number, and we're going to have these cars on the market for the next 30 or 50 years. This isn't about stopping the registration of internal combustion engine cars in 2035. We're still going to have all these cars on our roads and we need a solution." That's why Porsche is investing in the development of synthetic fuels, "that's why we're fighting for synthetic fuels. It's obvious that the Porsche fleet is equipped for the future with this, and we're only thinking of adding synthetic fuels to the conventional ones on a percentage basis combustion fuels. By 2040 or 2050, this will help reduce our CO2 emissions from a global perspective," explains Blume.
... to motorsport
"Our full focus is currently on the Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototypes, with which we will compete in the major classic races worldwide in 2023: Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, for example. " Formula 1 is interesting because of the rule changes with regard to synthetic fuels and the higher level of electrification. "It's very important for Porsche not just to be an engine supplier, we need a certain stake in a racing team." That's why the talks with Red Bull were stopped, which Blume accepts. How to proceed has not yet been decided. When asked whether a decision in favor of Formula 1 would only be made after 2026, the Porsche boss replied: "Yes. That is a possibility", but it is not currently being discussed.
VW and Porsche boss Blume has a clear goal: to keep the Porsche brand competitive as an exclusive sports car manufacturer even in the e-age. He achieves this by keeping exclusivity and prices high, fulfilling customer requests and keeping volumes small. Coupled with the idea of developing and transporting technology, but at the same time not denying history.