More sales and even more profit – there is another big bonus for Porsche employees. And the program of the Greens does not scare the Porsche leaders.
Dhe perspective a year ago was more than bleak. Porsche closed the factories for six weeks due to the corona pandemic and sent employees on short-time work, similar to other car manufacturers. That was a “stress test”, says the Porsche CEO Oliver Blume looking back today – and still presented brilliant figures this Friday.
More than 20,000 of the new Taycan electric sports car were sold, more than planned, although it was not so easy with the test drives in Corona times, reported Blume. Porsche produced a total of 263,000 cars. That was 4 percent less than the year before, but in euros and cents Porsche made some records out of it. Sales rose by half a percent to 28.7 billion euros. The profit (after taxes) even increased by 13 percent to 3.1 billion euros.
At the operational level, the result is an increase of 8 percent to just under 4.2 billion euros. With a return on sales of 14.6 percent, Porsche is likely to be the best-paid series vehicle manufacturer in the world. The employees who were surprised a year ago in their short-time working phase with the good news that they would receive a bonus of 10,000 euros for the previous year (which had sparked discussions in politics and society), will get one again after the surprising race to catch up in the Corona year high bonus. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume announced in the presentation without going into details. In principle, the special payment is independent of the income level. Porsche has a total of 36,359 employees, almost 3 percent more than in the previous year.
Another type of “stress test” for the entire automotive industry is climate protection, which is becoming more and more popular because an end date for cars with internal combustion engines is being brought into play more and more often. The fact that the Greens, after all a potential Chancellor party, will only want to see zero-emission new cars from 2030 onwards does not scare Porsche boss Blume. Although he warned that a seventh of all jobs in Germany depend on the automotive industry, he declared for Porsche: “We see ourselves as pioneers”. And Lutz Meschke, his colleague on the Board of Management from the finance department, asked: “Who if not us?” Porsche could afford climate protection: “We are taking over a billion euros into our hands to neutralize our carbon footprint by 2030. “
Investments in e-mobility and e-fuels
The main thrust of Porsche is – as in the entire VW group – the electrification of the vehicle fleet. Last year, a third of all cars delivered in Europe were fully or partially electrically powered; globally it was 17 percent. By 2025, this rate is to increase to 50 percent, and by 2030 to 80 percent. In order to make the electric car more and more attractive, Porsche is investing in a fast charging network at its own dealerships, at special destinations such as golf clubs or luxury hotels and also along the main traffic axes – “exclusively equipped for a charging experience typical of the brand”.
However, Porsche will not be able to work entirely without a combustion engine, if only because the classic 911 sports car is not suitable for electrification. For this reason, Porsche has taken on the role of a prominent promoter of so-called e-fuels, those synthetically produced fuels that, depending on the use of energy and raw materials, can be produced almost CO2-neutrally. With the help of funding from the federal government’s hydrogen program and together with Siemens Energy, Porsche is investing in a pilot plant for such e-fuels in Chile, where wind power is available year-round as climate-neutral energy.
The 20 million euros that Porsche is investing in the project should make it possible for e-fuels to be available from next year, albeit to a limited extent. They are to be used, among other things, in motorsport, but also for refueling new cars before delivery to customers. In principle, CO2-free e-fuels would also be a guarantee of existence for the 911 sports car. “We are also in talks with the Greens on this topic,” said Porsche boss Blume when asked by journalists. Porsche does not want to go into the infrastructure of e-fuels itself, that is a matter for the mineral oil industry – and there are inquiries from investors.
“We stand out positively from the auto industry”, was the message of the two Porsche board members who presented their successes from the previous year digitally in this or similar formulations. They were very positive about a possible IPO of the sports car manufacturer, about which there has been much speculation in the recent past, but pointed out that a decision was made by the VW board of directors and supervisory board. The profit transfer agreement, which made Porsche a reliable cash supplier for the VW Group in recent years, would then be invalid, but that could be offset by dividend payments, explained CFO Meschke. An IPO would have no impact on working relationships within the group.