Volkswagen Group is moving Porsche CEO Oliver Blume over to the core brand, necessitating a broader employment shift within the company to ensure other nameplates aren’t left without leadership. German outlet Auto Motor und Sport indicated earlier in the week that a management shakeup was afoot that would see Blume take over the VW brand in order for group head Herbert Diess to focus on managing the bigger picture.
Blume is rumored to have been tapped to help the company address rampant issues with its upcoming electric vehicles. If you’ll recall, VW has struggled with software issues and production holdups for some time. Last we checked, VW’s plan was to launch the ID.3 with less-than-ideal computer code that it intends to fix later.
Sounds like a bad one.
Ultra-rare automobiles have a tendency to be scooped up by speculators hoping to turn a buck. Manufacturers hate this, as they see none of that sweet, secondhand scratch — plus, the vehicles frequently end up as garage queens tucked away from the public eye. While a bit of a grimy move, it’s easy to understand why someone might be willing to fall from a manufacturer’s good graces so they can flip an already expensive automobile for several times what they paid.
Automakers have come up with interesting ways to circumvent the problem, often establishing hard limits on when a customer can resell a particularly in-demand model, but it never manages to stop it from happening entirely. However, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume thinks he has a novel solution — one that we’re a bit torn on.
Porsche will quit offering diesel powertrains for its cars and light trucks, effectively adding another nail to the fuel’s coffin. Following Volkswagen Group’s emission’s fiasco in the United States, which included Porsche, Europe has become increasingly critical of diesel-engined vehicles. Citywide bans have have been proposed throughout the region and, as of February, Porsche suspended diesel sales due to an ongoing German probe into VW Group’s diesel engines.
That investigation found that the Cayenne EU5 model’s 8-cylinder diesel was in violation of the established rules, affecting 13,500 units, according to Bild am Sonntag. Porsche then recalled nearly 60,000 Cayenne and Macan diesels in May as it launched its own investigation.
“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology,” Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said in a statement. “We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free.”
“It is very close to what you saw two years ago at Frankfurt,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says of the forthcoming production version of 2015’s stunning Mission E Concept.
“It will be exciting but a bit different from the concept,” Blume told CAR Magazine at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
That’s for beholders to gauge once the production version of the Mission E is pictured in 2019, when the model arrives exclusively with electric powertrains. Oliver Blume did, however, make clearer commitments relative to the Mission E that will delight Porschephiles and — perhaps — convert Tesla fans.
Right from launch, the Porsche Mission E — likely a 2020 model year vehicle — will be marketed with a 350 kW charge rate that “will be enough for a 400-kilometer range on an 80 percent charge,” Blume says. That’s 250 miles of range from a 15-minute charge. All of this in a car that Porsche claims accelerates from rest to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and tops 155 mph, a car Porsche couldn’t have developed “so quickly without the 919” — the automaker’s Le Mans-winning hybrid endurance racer.
Porsche announced Wednesday that Oliver Blume would succeed Matthias Müller as CEO of Porsche, after Müller left to [s]save[/s] head Volkswagen last week.
Blume, who is 47 years old, has been the head of Production and Logistics for Porsche since 2013, and was head of production and planning for Volkswagen before that. Blume was responsible for planning at Seat in Barcelona from 2004 to 2009, and worked on the Audi A3 before his tenure in Spain. According to Porsche, Blume has worked under the Volkswagen umbrella for more than 20 years.
Blume’s challenges at Porsche won’t be as extensive as Müller’s, but will be substantial. As CEO of Porsche, Blume will oversee the iconic 911’s shift to turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the next generation of Panameras and whatever comes of the Mission E electric car concept.
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