China, a market of inspiration and an engine of innovation
As Porsche marks its 75th anniversary, Michael Kirsch, President & CEO of Porsche China, opened the event in Guangzhou by dedicating the celebration to “Pioniergeist”, the Porsche pioneering spirit that has been driving Porsche’s journey from Stuttgart to China more than two decades ago.
“China stands for successful economic growth, for pioneering innovation, for speed, and for ex-traordinary customers.” Barbara Frenkel, Member of the Executive Board Procurement Porsche AG
Since coming to China, Porsche has significantly expanded its deliveries and sales network in contribution to the local economy. Meanwhile, the trends of digitalization and electrification are transforming the automotive industry. Especially the Chinese digitalized landscape has created a test bed of innovation-hungry customers in China who demand pioneering offers, personalized experience, and unparalleled service.
Porsche China Innovation Office, a key accelerator to transformation
Porsche has a clear strategy of transformation which includes the development of its core competencies in China with Porsche Digital, Porsche Engineering, Porsche R&D Satellite, Porsche Ventures, and the Porsche China Innovation Office which marks its 5th anniversary this year.
Since its inception in 2018, the Porsche China Innovation Office has actively advocated the strategic significance of the market, the digitalized lifestyle of China customers, and the potential of China innovation. One of its first assignments was to curate the China immersions for Porsche AG top management, including Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and the Executive Board Members, that paved way for the development of innovation in Porsche China.
Over the five years, the China Innovation Office has curated 45 China innovation projects across the portfolios of fascinating customer experience, in-car services, intelligent enterprise solutions, and green technologies. Many of these projects have been materialized in customer campaigns and dealer usages, and their impact was also recognized by the professional peers with the eight local innovation and marketing awards the Office has obtained to date. Two Chinese start-ups selected by the China Innovation Office for collaboration – iMaker and EnjoyElec - have also received strategic investment by Porsche Ventures in further evidence of the rising importance of open innovation.
Porsche China Innovation Accelerator program drives open innovation
The China Innovation Office also acts as a bridge between Porsche and the China innovation ecosystem, including government, academia, incubators, venture capitalists, and start-ups, by actively exchanging ideas, expertise and resources. The recent Innovation Open Day event was Porsche China’s first public-facing innovation event that has attracted more than 6,200 pioneers and prominent ecosystem players, including Alibaba Cloud, CY Zone and Microsoft for Startups.
In 2022, Porsche China launched its debut accelerator program and selected 8 inspiring start-ups from close to 100 companies in China. At the Open Day, 4 lighthouse projects were presented, each with its own captivating vision and speedy adoption for the market.
- Metaverse project x start-up Gotin, an innovation prototype that was quickly adopted to three public campaigns by Porsche China in its cloud-based customer island “Club Land” (Dec 2022), amusement park “Dreamverse” (Jan 2023), and “Virtual Art Gallery” (Feb 2023).
- Digital Collectible project x start-up Cocafe, Porsche China’s award-winning NFT “911-Dreamers” (Jan 2023), which collection was sold out in 2 hours and described as a benchmark “Web3.0” marketing practice in China.
- In-car mixed-reality experience project x start-ups Photonic Crystal and Seengene and other suppliers, a concept prototype rendered in 4 months which show-cased a location-based entertainment experience without the need of additional wearable.
- Smart energy management system x start-up EnjoyElec, which intelligent energy management platform was built into the newly-opened Porsche Centre Haining, China to allow the dealership to smartly manage its power consumption with the start-up’s proprietary AI energy solution. EnjoyElec has since received the strategic investment of Porsche Ventures to speed up Porsche’s intelligent charging network and strategy for net carbon neutrality.
China has not only been an important sales market for Porsche, but also an innovation powerhouse for the group in exploring offers and solutions for the long-term development of our company. “To a large extent, China will re-define the auto industry in the next ten years,” Michael Kirsch.