“We need to use all the options now”

Mr. Meschke, in an progressing talk we quoted from a film by Italian executive Luchino Visconti: “If we wish things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” Can we explain this counterbalance to us: how will technologies classed as disruptive—digitalization and synthetic intelligence—make it probable to keep all a approach it is?

Lutz Meschke: What we meant was this: a Porsche code produces conspicuous inertia, and we are rarely successful in terms of revenue. But if we wish to make certain that both of these are still that approach in 5 years’ time, we need to use all a options we have now to position Porsche for a future. Especially with honour to digitalization and AI. We’ll usually strech a goals if we use these technologies to digest new products and services. On tip of that, we need to totally re-orient all of a corporate processes and conduct a change in mentality. Which, by a way, not usually Porsche needs to do though all of a automotive industry.

How distant has Porsche been means to change a genius so far?

Meschke: In some ways, we’re utterly distant already. But a indicate is that we need to get everybody during Porsche on board. Sure, some people are disturbed about a changes digitalization brings with it and see their jobs in jeopardy. But we need to know that a new technologies are opportunities, not risks. We have to be prepared to learn and develop. It’s a usually approach for everybody to actively rivet in holding a association forward.

Lutz Meschke

Mr. Lappe, what is Porsche Engineering’s purpose in digitalization?

Dirk Lappe: We wish to be partial of a front line in a digitalization of a customers. It’s unequivocally critical to me that we don’t simply broach run-of-the-mill solutions though that a designs indeed supplement value. Which is given we adore operative with synthetic comprehension and digitalization, given these technologies massively supplement value for a customers.

But digitalization and AI are still new fields for a use provider who comes from classical automobile design. How are we feeling a changes?

Lappe: The rate of change has increasing dramatically and we’re experiencing some-more and some-more remarkable events that need relating solutions for a customers. For example, program growth has now turn a vital object with us, given it’s branch some-more and some-more into a USP. It’s already heading to increasing patron inquiries today.

Meschke: It’s unequivocally critical to us that Porsche Engineering be successful in a market. Porsche Engineering is where a whole organisation began. Porsche started off by charity growth services for business before conceptualizing and producing any sports cars of a own. So, Porsche Engineering is apparently unequivocally critical to us. They have lots of business from all over a automotive trade, everywhere in a world, and we consider that their position will usually turn some-more pivotal as digitalization progresses, not usually for us, though via a whole market.

“We need to totally re-orient all of a corporate processes and conduct a change in mentality.”
Lutz Meschke

What purpose does an engineering services association like Porsche Engineering play in this proviso of digitalization?

Meschke: An engineering services provider always needs to know where events are leading—at a tellurian scale, even. Especially in terms of internationalization, Porsche Engineering has done glorious swell over a final few years, for instance by environment adult sites in Prague, and in Cluj in Romania. We’ve been means to take on lots of good new people who unequivocally wish to work with us long-term. Porsche Engineering during a creation site Cluj: to me, that’s a genuine story of success.

Lappe: Our activities in Shanghai also play a pivotal role. We’ve turn a arrange of gateway into China. You know, these days nobody believes in a universe automobile anymore. For China, an automobile manufacturer needs opposite program from that in a same indication granted in a US or Europe. Which creates progressing a permanent site in China unequivocally critical for a automobile developer.

Dirk Lappe

Mr. Meschke, you’re not usually in assign of IT and digitalization during Porsche AG, you’re conduct of finance, too. Doesn’t it annoy we that digitalization is flattering expensive?

Meschke: In a past, IT was a cost issue. Everyone knew we indispensable IT, though everybody wanted it during bill price. It’s not like that anymore: today, we perspective IT and digitalization as rival strengths. If we don’t make a cut with a immeasurable players, I’m losing out to my competitors. We’ll never be offered a same series of cars if we don’t offer a full connectivity package. In China, a business are really young. They wish to be means to use all a facilities their smartphones offer in their cars, too. And they design additional digital services in a automobile on tip of that. So we have no choice though to deposit heavily.

Lappe: And investing in IT doesn’t usually urge your competitiveness, it also cuts costs. Take a demeanour during antecedent construction in automobile development, for example. We used to build a whole lot of vehicles. Today, we use digital collection to build a practical vehicle. We save on building a immeasurable series of prototypes; that’s a lot of income saved. The digital universe offers lots of options for improving potency like that.

How most are we investing in digitalization?

Meschke: For all of a corporate processes, intelligent factory, interfaces with customers, products and services, all that, we’re investing some-more than 800 million euros a year. We’re also budgeting some-more than 150 million a year for investing in start-ups and try collateral businesses. So we’re looking during roughly one billion euros all together. We have a bill of over dual billion euros for required automobile development. So we can see how poignant digitalization has become. And it’ll usually get some-more critical in future.

“Investing in IT doesn’t usually urge your competitiveness, it also cuts costs, for instance by regulating practical prototyping.”
Dirk Lappe

What purpose does Porsche play in Volkswagen Group’s digitalization process?

Meschke: As a reward code manufacturer, we’re naturally looking during opposite hurdles from those of mass-market manufacturers. We need to rivet with a applicable tech players to offer a business a solutions they’re looking for. The partners themselves are opposite depending on a segment we’re articulate about. But in terms of an wiring platform, standardizing opposite a whole organisation creates clarity to capacitate us to advantage from economies of scale. Digitalization also creates it required for us to concentration a capacities within a organisation given we need to accommodate a immeasurable range of growth mandate in a new fields.

Lappe: Porsche will be regulating some-more and some-more modules and platforms granted by a group. But we still need to make certain that a Porsche stays a Porsche—and digitalization can assistance us do so. This is where Porsche Engineering will act as a motorist to pull brand-specific developments. The knowledge we advantage in program growth for sports cars will advantage a other customers, too—the same as with all of a other engineering activities.


Lutz Meschke graduated in business administration. He left Hugo Boss to join Porsche AG in 2001. He has been a member of a Executive Board given 2009, where he is in assign of Finance and IT. In 2015, Lutz Meschke took on a post of Deputy Chairman of a Executive Board with a sports automobile company.

Dirk Lappe graduated in electrical engineering. He assimilated Porsche Engineering in 2002, where he started off as conduct of a electrics/electronics division. He has been Managing Director during Porsche Engineering given 2009. Dirk Lappe formerly worked for Bosch and Harman Becker.


Interview: Michael Gneuss
Photos: Sebastian Berger

Text initial published in a Porsche Engineering Magazine, Issue 2/2019