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Porsche to set up shop in China and Malaysia

Global brand: Porsche is a firm believer in having boots on the ground in many of its key markets to make sure its cars are as relevant as can be.

R&D centre in China, small-scale assembly in Malaysia underline Porsche Asian focus

31 Aug 2021

PORSCHE has announced it will be intensifying its focus on the Chinese market while doubling down in the ASEAN market with a new research and development satellite facility in Shanghai and small-scale local assembly operations in Malaysia.


With China having long been the Stuttgart brand’s biggest single market, executives say the new R&D centre will help development teams gain a better understanding of Chinese customer requirements as well as improving both market-specific and global products.


According to Porsche AG executive board chair Oliver Blume, the brand is driven by curiosity and by “perpetually learning and fine tuning” its cars.


“Having a permanent home for this work in China will bring obvious benefits, particularly when it comes to reflecting and predicting our customer’s needs in China, a nation that has truly welcomed Porsche and has taken our cars to heart to the extent that it’s been our biggest sales market for six consecutive years,” he said.


“The Chinese automotive market is very dynamic and customer preferences are highly specific. We want to meet these demands the best way possible.”


Far from the first of its kind, similar satellite facilities have been established in Sweden, South Africa and the US, all of which have had direct input into the development of Porsche’s key models.


Porsche executive board member for research and development Michael Steiner said the addition of the Shanghai R&D centre underlined the company’s commitment to ensuring its cars remain “relevant and attuned” to its various global markets.


“We’re proud to be a vibrant, global business and to be investing in localised programs to ensure our cars and services do reflect the specific needs of our markets outside of Europe,” he said.


“To do this best requires a permanent presence.”


This philosophy of having boots on the ground has also led to the establishment of a new small-scale assembly operation in Malaysia with long-standing partner Sime Darby Berhad as the brand tries to capitalise on a “very dynamic market environment” within the ASEAN region.


Hoping to initially gain a foothold in Malaysia with locally made cars specifically for that market, Porsche executives anticipate success there will serve as a launchpad to increase the branx’s presence and market share across the whole ASEAN region with plenty of “significant business opportunities”.


“Malaysia and the whole ASEAN is a region of great potential and we look forward to the first locally assembled models reaching our Malaysian customers next year,” Porsche executive board member for sales and marketing Detlev von Platen said.


“As Porsche is moving into a new era of mobility, Malaysia and the ASEAN region are gaining an increasing importance.


“This step now is part of a long-standing initiative to keep pace with rapidly evolving customer and market demands.”


Porsche executive board member for production and logistics Albrecht Reimold added that while modest in size, the new assembly site signals the brand’s willingness to learn and adapt to specific local market conditions.


As for the Australian market, Porsche Cars Australia has sold 2935 new vehicles so far this year ending July 31, marking a 19.5 per cent improvement on 2457 units it delivered over the same period last year.

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