2021 ALL STAR | CEO, EXOTIC
Chairman of the executive board,
Porsche built its brand on the wail of the flat-six.
Now, Oliver Blume is steering the German performance brand into a decidedly quieter future.
Tightening emission regulations — backed by monetary penalties — from Stuttgart to Shanghai are forcing the auto industry to wean itself from carbon-spewing combustion engines and find a new future selling battery-powered vehicles.
Blume, 53, has launched Porsche to a rocking start as the automaker chases an ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Like the Tesla Model S, the Porsche Taycan is proving electric vehicles don't have to be a compromise on performance and styling. The low-slung Taycan can zip from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and do so without burning a single hydrocarbon.
It's not just about speed. In the third quarter, Porsche sold more Taycans globally than the iconic 911.
But sales are one thing; profits are quite another.
Blume, a former manager at Volkswagen's Audi luxury division, must maintain Porsche's benchmark 15 percent margin as the automaker ratchets up R&D spend. The automaker is spending €15 billion over five years as it electrifies its fleet, adding more plug-in hybrids and full-electric variants.
Blume must also prove he can replicate the Taycan's market success with the brand's other higher-volume nameplates. The Macan crossover — Porsche's bestseller — will be next to receive the EV treatment in 2023. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman also are expected to get electric powertrains.
Near term, Blume must navigate Porsche through the global semiconductor crisis that has gummed up supplier plants and slowed inventory to dealers.