Important Events – Company
Here you will find an excerpt of the main corporate events in the 2020 financial year.
Here you will find an excerpt of the main corporate events in the 2020 financial year.
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and the sporting event of the year in the United States. For the first time since 1997, Porsche featured in a TV advertisement on 2 February, the day of the Super Bowl in Miami. And the main character in this commercial was the Taycan. Entitled “The Heist”, the ad was based around a car chase involving nine classic Porsche sports cars from the Porsche Museum. Germany’s Black Forest, the city of Heidelberg and beautiful timber-framed architecture of Heppenheim all provided the backdrop. An extended cut is available to view on Porsche NewsTV and the Porsche YouTube channel.
Porsche Ventures is the venture capital arm of Porsche. In February, it invested in the Hamburg-based software start-up Nitrobox GmbH, which helps companies to centralise and flexibly manage their financial processes. New digital products and services can then be brought to market more quickly while keeping costs down. Nitrobox supports the order-to-cash process for new business models: billing for car sharing, “functions on demand”, digital parking tickets and charging services can be fully automated using the start-up’s platform. Nitrobox GmbH received a seven-figure investment, with the NeueCapital Partners fund from Silicon Valley also acquiring a stake in the start-up.
In early February, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) presented Porsche Leipzig GmbH with the VDA Logistics Award 2020. Porsche’s concept was based on smart planning tools, highly automated processes and energy-efficient storage and order-picking technology. The panel’s verdict was as follows: “Strongly integrated, with smart automation and maximum reliability and efficiency, the concept offers innovation potential for the plant, the automotive industry and logistics in other industries.” With a saving of 3,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, Porsche is setting standards in the conservation of resources. At the heart of the automated small parts warehouse are 90 carts that feed and empty all of the small load carriers in two aisles. A fully automatic robot is used for the loading process. This innovation supports the high level of variation in production, cuts costs and makes workplaces more ergonomic.
The Taycan’s unique Porsche sound signature is based on software developed by DSP Concepts, an audio specialist from Silicon Valley. Porsche Ventures invested in DSP Concepts, Inc. in February with Taiwania Capital leading the financing round. DSP Concepts specialises in software and algorithms for audio signals. Its “TalkTo” software, for example, provides reliable voice control functions even in conditions with loud background noise. The rich Porsche engine sound is world-renowned. Using technology from DSP Concepts, the engineers at Porsche have succeeded in designing a fully electric Taycan that sounds like only a Porsche can sound.
A love of cars can take drivers down many roads, but when that road leads to Zuffenhausen, people are still telling stories like Ottmar Domnick’s 70 years later. On 26 May 1950, the 43-year-old specialist in neurology and psychiatry took delivery of his 356 in Fish Silver Grey with commission number 5001. It was his dearest wish to be the first Porsche customer in Germany. The mechanic Herbert Linge remembers the day well: “Domnick celebrated the handover. But he had been dropping in every day before that anyway to see how far we were with the work on his car.” 70 years later, about 20 customers a day drive their new car out of the gates. That makes around 2,500 customers a year in Zuffenhausen, and 3,000 in Leipzig. Serendipity and an unbreakable love of cars meant that, in the 70th year of ex-works collection, the very first Taycan was also received in person in Zuffenhausen. More about that in 70 years’ time!
Cars go where customers like to go, to the shopping centre. In mid-May, Porsche and the Hahn Group joined forces to open a pop-up store south of Stuttgart in Breuningerland Sindelfingen: under the name “Porsche NOW”, retail partner the Hahn Group presented and sold Porsche sports cars up until the end of the year. “Porsche NOW” is a flexible retail concept designed for short-term use. It was created with busy city centres and shopping malls in mind, and is intended to appeal to new target groups. Retail formats of the future will mean Porsche delivering the basic concept, and the worldwide sales companies and dealers implementing it. Another pop-up shop was opened in Tokyo in July.
Porsche commemorated its Le Mans triumph from 50 years ago with an exhibition on 14 June and presented the red and white winning car, a 917 KH, at the Porsche Museum. Drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood took the first overall victory for Porsche in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 14 June 1970. After 343 laps and 4,607.811 kilometres. Gérard Larrousse and Willy Kauhsen came second in the Martini Porsche 917 LH, and Rudi Lins and Helmut Marko in the Porsche 908/02 finished third. Since then, Porsche has notched up 19 overall victories and 108 class wins at Le Mans. It is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans’ almost 100-year history.
The Porsche plant in Leipzig is on the way to becoming the electric vehicles plant. Porsche’s initial assessment of the construction work in July was positive. Preparations are in progress across the entire site for the launch of electromobility. This marks the fifth expansion of the plant since the initial ground-breaking ceremony in 2000. Porsche is investing more than 600 million euros in the production of entirely electric vehicles. The next generation of the Macan, which will be fully electric, is to be manufactured in Leipzig. Three different drive technologies can now be produced on one assembly line: petrol engines, hybrids and electric drive systems.
At the end of July, the company presented six Porsche 911s in the rainbow colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet to mark Christopher Street Day (CSD). In front of the Porsche Museum, the company demonstrated its commitment to the values of diversity, tolerance and respect. A rainbow flag was flown from the factory mast. Porsche stands for open cooperation and active diversity. The motto of this year’s CSD was “Diversity needs support”. Porsche HR Board Member Andreas Haffner explained: “We demand and promote equal opportunities and want to enable everyone at Porsche to contribute as they are – regardless of gender, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.” In 2017, Porsche set up its Diversity and Inclusion department to raise awareness of diverse teams.
Porsche Digital has successfully spun off its &Charge platform. &Charge enables customers to accumulate “kilometre” credits for their online purchases. These can then be redeemed for services including free charging of electric vehicles, trips with public e-scooters and car-sharing. Alternatively, customers can also donate their collected “kilometres” to support certified climate protection projects. In addition to that customers can make their credits available for others. &Charge offers so-called Wall boxes on its marketplace. The concept is unique in Europe. &Charge is currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Since its inception, a large number of partners have signed up to the initiative – including more than 800 e-commerce partners and 16 e-mobility providers. &Charge is the first loyalty programme and platform of its kind for e-mobility in Europe. The company is based in Frankfurt.
At the finale of Europe’s largest innovation platform “Startup Autobahn” in September, over 30 start-ups from all over the world presented their mobility of the future ideas online. Porsche was involved in five projects, making experienced mentors available to the founders. The CarbonBlock sustainability project set up by the Berlin start-up CircularTree, which Porsche helped to set up, also won the Global Innovation Award from the American accelerator Plug and Play. The blockchain application developed by the project makes greenhouse gas emissions from supply chains transparent. Meanwhile, the app developed by Circularise (Netherlands) can be used to trace the individual plastic content of a product part. ClimaCell (USA) adopts a “weather of things” approach and uses several hundred million sensors to do so. Monk from France speeds up the return and inspection of rental cars and lease returns. The Hi.Auto application from Israel is working on audiovisual speech recognition. In addition to the microphone, a video camera records lip movements. Porsche has been a Startup Autobahn partner since the start of 2017.
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR tackled this year's Nürburgring 24hour race in September featuring a complete body kit made of natural-fibre composite materials for the first time. Since early 2019, Porsche has been manufacturing the doors and rear wing of the small series racing vehicle out of a natural-fibre mix, sourced primarily from renewable raw materials. The vehicle that raced at the Nürburgring also had its front and rear apron, front spoiler, front and rear lid as well as the mudguards and diffuser including the aerodynamic fins made using this regenerative material. In terms of weight and stiffness, the recyclable natural-fibre composite materials of non-structural components share properties similar to carbon-fibre composites (CFRP) and meet the same high safety and quality standards. Natural-fibre composites can also be manufactured more economically and with less energy. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR faced a tough test on the Nürburgring but came in second place in the alternative engine class.
Sales of Porsche sports cars in North America began in September 1950. In Atlanta, company founder Prof. Dr. Ing. h.c. Ferdinand Porsche and the automobile importer Maximilian Hoffman agreed to join forces, and Hoffman duly took delivery of two 356 Coupés in the autumn of the same year. This first delivery from Zuffenhausen laid the foundation for a success story. In 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Porsche’s first sales company of its own, opened in Reno, Nevada; since 1998, it has been based in Atlanta, Georgia. Sales in the United States in 2019 reached an all-time high of 61,568 vehicles. Following the world première of the all-electric Taycan in September 2019, the first deliveries worldwide crossed the Atlantic in December – to US customers.
Porsche joined the “Responsible Mica Initiative” (RMI) cross-industry coalition in October. Mica are mineral mica pigments. They are used in a range of industrial and cosmetic products – and also in car paint. The coalition of international companies and non-governmental organisations founded in 2017 aims to ensure that the raw material mica is handled transparently and sustainably, thereby improving the living conditions of people in the extraction areas, for example through fair working conditions, health and safety measures and a minimum wage. Porsche represents the Volkswagen Group in the RMI.
In October, representatives from Porsche, Porsche Design and property developer Bülow AG laid the symbolic foundation stone for the Porsche Design Tower and Porsche Centre in Stuttgart. It is the first joint project involving these three partners. The project is being built on a site measuring 8,500 square meters directly at the Pragsattel, an important traffic hub in the city of Stuttgart. With its height of around 90 metres, the Porsche Design Tower will be one of the tallest buildings in Stuttgart and, together with the Porsche Centre, will form a striking architectural feature. The design of the new structure will take its inspiration from the Destination Porsche concept that is used for all Porsche Centres across the world. The plan is for Porsche’s Stuttgart branch to relocate from Zuffenhausen to the Pragsattel in the middle of 2022.
Dr. Kjell Gruner has been President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America since November. Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing of Porsche AG, praised the appointment: “Porsche Cars North America could not be in better hands.” As head of marketing, Kjell Gruner had, he said, made a notable contribution to shaping the global development of the Porsche brand, most recently with the exceptional launch of the Porsche Taycan. As a long-time Porsche colleague and brand professional, his experience would be extremely valuable in North America. Gruner moved to Boston Consulting Group in the United States after his studies, before joining Porsche in 1999. He now succeeds Klaus Zellmer, who will take up the role of member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in Wolfsburg with responsibility for Sales, Marketing and After Sales. Executive Board Member von Platen added: “We sincerely thank Klaus for the outstanding performance he’s led in the North American market, with successive years of growth and the innovative programs.
Porsche and the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer presented an exclusive new pairing in early November: Customers who opt for a special edition Embraer Phenom 300E business jet can now also purchase a matching customised Porsche 911 Turbo S. This is a strictly limited offer for just 10 units. The cooperation between the two brands bears the name “Duet”. Porsche and Embraer offer their customers all over the world exclusive products that can be personalised and enhanced in almost limitless ways. “As part of our cooperation, we are using the know-how of both brands to jointly develop a one-of-a-kind duo of a sports car and jet that appeals to both customer groups,” commented Alexander Fabig, Head of Personalisation and Classic at Porsche.
Porsche announced in November that Lutz Meschke would be taking up the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) with effect from 1 January 2021. Meschke is Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche AG. He has sat on the Supervisory Board of the HHL since 2013. Since then, Porsche AG has supported the Chair of Strategic Management and Digital Entrepreneurship at Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL). Porsche Leipzig has also been a Premium Partner of SpinLab, the HHL accelerator, since 2016.
In November, under the title “Porsche Unseen”, Porsche published design studies that had previously been kept under lock and key. In this way, the company is offering an exclusive insight into its design process – from the very first drawing to the finished model ready for series production. The Porsche Newsroom has presented 15 different cars from the period 2005 to 2019 in a series of articles. The 9:11 Magazine web TV format has also dedicated an episode to selected studies. Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer examined the connection between the studies and the current production models. A book entitled “Porsche Unseen” has also been published by the Delius Klasing publishing house. A selection of studies will also be on display at a later stage for fans to admire up close: the Porsche Museum will be integrating a selection into its exhibition in 2021.
Porsche, its management and IT consulting subsidiary MHP, along with the insurance group Munich Re, founded a joint venture, the “FlexFactory”, in November. FlexFactory serves as a consultancy and business enabler for more flexible and cost-efficient small series production based on digital processes. The objective is to bring innovation and new variants onto the market more quickly, more efficiently and with less upfront investment.
Jens Brücker took over as the head of Porsche’s main factory in Zuffenhausen in the middle of November. Brücker succeeds Christian Friedl, who will manage the Seat plant in Martorell near Barcelona as of 1 January, 2021, after 20 years at Porsche. Brücker was previously responsible for managing the Volkswagen plant in South Africa where he spent more than four years, and before that he was employed by Daimler AG.
In November, the Porsche Taycan entered the Guinness World Records™ for the longest drift with an electric vehicle. The world record was set at the Porsche Experience Centre (PEC) Hockenheimring. Porsche instructor Dennis Retera drove 210 laps on the 200 metre-long drift circle without the front wheels ever pointing in the same direction as the curve. After 55 minutes the sideways expert had covered the classic marathon distance of 42.171 kilometres. The vehicle’s average speed was 46 km/h. The record was achieved with the rear-wheel drive version of the Taycan.
At the beginning of December, the German Federal Government announced funding of around eight million euros for the eFuels pilot project in Chile. Together with Siemens Energy and a number of international companies, Porsche AG is developing and implementing synthetic, virtually climate-neutral fuels (eFuels). The Haru Oni Pilot Plant in the province of Magallanes takes advantage of the excellent wind conditions in southern Chile to produce climate-neutral fuel using green wind power. Siemens Energy is receiving the funding as part of the national hydrogen strategy. During the pilot phase, the plan is for around 130,000 litres of eFuels to be produced per year from 2022 onwards. Production is then to be increased to 550 million litres by 2026. As the main buyer of the fuel, Porsche wants to use eFuels in motorsport, in its Porsche Experience Centres and, potentially, also in production sports cars. The company is investing around 20 million euros in the project. eFuels are easy to use and are suitable for combustion engines as well as plug-in hybrids. They also make use of the existing filling station network. By investing in the world’s first commercial integrated eFuels plant, Porsche is supporting the development of alternative fuels. eFuels are a sensible addition to electromobility and make a further contribution to climate protection.
Porsche Digital has expanded its product portfolio to include the digital assistant “Sounce”: The software can detect background noise, for example, during vehicle component tests. The underlying technology uses deep learning methods. The assistant documents errors in precise detail and simplifies root cause analysis. This takes the strain off development engineers, improves quality and cuts costs. “Sounce” is a collaboration between Porsche Digital and the development department of Porsche AG. The product is available in the form of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
With its first virtual “Night of Champions” on 12 December, Porsche began the warm-up for the 2021 racing season. Porsche Motorsport Director Fritz Enzinger declared his support for continued participation in ABB FIA Formula E: “We firmly believe in the excellent stage and the unique concept. We use purely electric formula racing for consistent development work and to build on our expertise in battery electric drives.” The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team will start the new season with works drivers André Lotterer (Germany, car number 36) and Pascal Wehrlein (Germany, car number 99) in the Porsche 99X Electric. The backup drivers, both from Switzerland, are Simona de Silvestro and Neel Jani. In the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche continues to field two 911 RSR with around 515 hp. The two cars will compete in all six races with a slightly different driver team in cooperation with Manthey Racing. In the number 91 car, Italian Gianmaria Bruni and Austrian Richard Lietz will again take turns behind the wheel. In the sister car, with number 92, the 2016 World Endurance Champion Neel Jani will drive alongside Kévin Estre from France.
The Executive Board at Porsche AG gave the green light for the development of an LMDh prototype in December. Porsche Motorsport received the order to build a vehicle based on future regulations. From 2023, the LMDh cars will make up a new top class in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Both championships are hugely significant for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer. Porsche very much welcomed the introduction of the new class for hybrid prototypes. The racing cars, which tip the scales at around 1,000 kilograms, are powered by a hybrid system with an output of 500 kW (680 hp). “Endurance racing is part of our brand’s DNA,” explained Oliver Blume, CEO at Porsche AG. The new LMDh category will allow Porsche to fight for overall victories with a hybrid system at the Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring classics – without breaking the bank. LMDh stands for Le Mans Daytona Hybrid.
In December, Porsche produced a complete housing for an electric drive using a 3D printer for the first time. In so doing, the engineers behind this development proved their point, namely that the additive laser melting process can also be used for relatively large, highly stressed components of an electric sports car. The alloy housing passed all of the quality and load tests. It weighs less and cuts the overall weight of the drive by around ten percent. At the same time, the rigidity in heavily loaded areas is doubled, with considerably reduced assembly time. The optimised e-drive would be ideal for use in a super sports car with a low production run. Especially for special and small series as well as for motorsport, this production technology is an attractive prospect both technically and economically. Newly printed pistons with an innovative design have previously passed their acid test in the 911 GT2 RS high-performance sports car.