2018 was a successful year for Porsche. We posted increased delivery figures once again, with a four-per cent gain over 2017 to 256,255 vehicles. Another bright point is our operating return on sales: at 16.6 per cent it once again exceeds our strategic objective of 15 per cent.
And that at a time when conditions in the industry were anything but ideal in 2018: The earlier-than-expected emissions legislation in Europe confronted the automotive industry with enormous challenges. Let us be clear: we stand unreservedly behind the agreed laws, not least because the measured values based on the WLTP cycle are significantly more realistic than the NEDC cycle used previously. However, the new regulations were introduced one year earlier than initially planned. The early change not only had a major impact on existing product cycles, but also led to severe bottlenecks at the test benches. As a result, we had to prioritize with regard to product launches. With the 911, for example, we promptly equipped the GTS vehicles with particle filters. With the 992, the eighth generation of our icon, all new 911s are already WLTP-certified.
Another topic that presented a lot of challenges in 2018 was diesel. Porsche itself has never developed and produced diesels. The technology has always played a relatively minor role for us. After a good deal of deliberation, we therefore decided to move forward without diesel. As a sports car manufacturer, we concentrate on doing what we do best: highly emotional gasoline engined, powerful plug-in hybrids and, soon, purely electric drive systems. This will enable us to sharpen the core of our brand and resolutely align our company with the mobility of the future.
This was also underscored by the decision of the Supervisory Board under which Porsche will invest six billion euros in e-mobility by 2022. The move will double the volume of the future package that was previously in place. It will now encompass some three billion euros of capital investments and somewhat over three billion in development costs. Roughly one billion of that will be invested in the Zuffenhausen location alone to ensure that the Taycan, our first purely electric Porsche sports car, can roll off the lines there in autumn 2019.
With the new plant for the Taycan, we have created approximately 1,500 new jobs. Our workforce has grown in other locations as well, amounting to an nine per cent increase worldwide. Overall, 32,325 people were working at Porsche at the end of 2018 – more than ever before.
But 2018 was not just a year of outstanding growth and success. It was also a year of grand celebrations: 80 years of the Zuffenhausen location, the 75th birthday for Wolfgang Porsche, and 70 years of Porsche sports cars. Among other things, we marked the anniversary of our brand by founding the charitable Ferry Porsche Foundation, which works to support education, social issues and young people. The anniversary was celebrated around the world. Always at the centre of events: the 356 “No. 1” Roadster, which became the first car to bear the name Porsche in June, 1948.
The anniversary year also saw some prominent world premières: in early March, we presented an electrically powered cross utility vehicle concept car that will go into series production as the Taycan Cross Turismo. And with the 911 GT3 RS, a hitherto unequalled radical high-performance sports car debuted in Geneva that would shortly break the record for a street-legal Porsche sports car on the Nürburgring’s famed Nordschleife with a time of 6:56.4 minutes. This was followed in July by adding the new Macan. The Panamera family grew by two GTS models.
Other new additions include the GT2 RS Clubsport, the Macan S, the 718 T and the 911 Speedster, the latter to be produced in a limited run of 1948 units. At the Rennsport Reunion in Laguna Seca, we thrilled those assembled with the Porsche 935, a homage to the legendary 935/78 known as Moby Dick. Finally, at the end of 2018 the new 911 celebrated its world première – even faster, more efficient and more abundantly equipped with digital functions than ever before.
Together with the new 911, we launched the apps “Porsche Road Trip” and “Porsche 360+”. They can be bought and used by anyone – even by those who don’t own their own Porsche. This represents our first forays into new target groups and new types of uses. The same applies to “Porsche Host”, a pilot programme operated jointly with our sharing partner Turo in the US.
We regard digitalisation as an opportunity to tap new business fields. We are developing typical Porsche mobility concepts and using new technologies. Innovative start-ups are supporting us in that effort. One example is the young Berlin-based company XAIN, with which we are the first carmaker worldwide to successfully implement blockchain technology in the vehicle. In 2018 we also acquired interests in the Israeli start-up Anagog, Rimac Automobil in Croatia and Miles in the US.
We also joined a new racing series: our application for a place as a manufacturer in the Formula E championship was accepted in April of last year. In other words, at roughly the same as the world première of the Taycan, Porsche will kick off its first campaign in this purely electric-powered racing series in late 2019. At the same time, our involvement in the GT class and customer racing will continue. After all, motor racing remains paramount for Porsche, our driver of innovation, efficiency and sustainability. The race track is our laboratory – and where we are at home.
Your Executive Board
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
911 Carrera GTS: Fuel consumption combined 9.4 – 8.3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 212 – 188 g/km
911 Carrera S: Fuel consumption combined 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 205 g/km
911 Carrera 4S: Fuel consumption combined 9.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 206 g/km
911 GT2 RS: Fuel consumption combined 11.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 269 g/km
911 GT3 RS: Fuel consumption combined 12.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 291 g/km
718 Boxster T: Fuel consumption combined 7.9 – 8,2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 181 – 187 g/km
718 Cayman T: Fuel consumption combined 8.1 – 7.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 186 – 180 g/km
Macan: Fuel consumption combined 8.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 185 g/km
Macan S: Fuel consumption combined 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 204 g/km
Panamera GTS: Fuel consumption combined 10.3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 235 g/km