Volkswagen & Tesla can make a huge impact using the Porsche fandom
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Quick Blog summary
The purpose of this blog is to analyse Porsche’s impact on sustainability actions carried out by consumers & corporations so that it can be determined if Porsche must be more proactive in its actions due to its influence on impact.
Porsche was my choice to highlight the paradigm shift to a more sustainable eco-friendly corporate world. The premise of this blog is that we focus on Porsche as a corporate leader, because of the status it has in society and the waw factor. It is interesting to see a company, that is more correlated with pollution and emissions, starting to make major sustainable changes.
The audience for this blog is not only for my fellow students but also for my Luvioni.com audience as I will be uploading this blog to my blog website.
Porsche, by being a part of the Volkswagen group and having many followers on social media, more than Tesla and Volkswagen combined, is a huge corporate leader and a major influencer in society.
The corporate culture of Porsche wants to go back to its roots, being innovative, sustainable and entrepreneurial. Looking at the corporate sustainability and financial performance of the company, it can be suggested that there is a strong positive correlation.
The article reflected on a past suggestion that Porsche should go fully electric, not only for the influence it will have for a more sustainable society but also for the financial benefit Porsche might have.
The scientific article gives another perspective to this narrative, as it suggests that companies and corporate leaders shouldn’t always be the ones to propose change, but it can also be a bottom-up situation. Employees and we as employees may have the same or even more power and responsibility to make a positive change in society. The YouTube clip chosen suggests that we should work together if we are to see sustainable long-term change and reduce the ‘’green premium’’ pricing. So that only people that can afford Porsche’s can be green, but people with lower income can as well. Range improvements is a great factor in the road for improvement for wide adoption.
It can be concluded, based on the research question, that Porsche does have an impact on sustainability, not only by the direct actions of their business/corporate sustainability performance but by the influence they have on society as a whole and in turn, the influence on people’s actions.
Seeing that sales of gas-powered cars have declined, and their electric vehicle sales have risen, it can be suggested that going fully electric might be the best choice for Porsche. Porsche should not only invest more in electric vehicle infrastructure but also use its influence more effectively.
Being part of the Volkswagen Group, Porsche is one of the big corporate leaders of the automotive industry. Solely speaking of market cap, Volkswagen Group is at number 3 with a market cap of around 140 billion US Dollars (on 13/10/2021). To see the list of the top 15 automotive companies with the largest market cap please have a look at Appendix A. (Largest automakers by market capitalization, 2021)
Porsche is 45% owner of Bugatti who has stated that all their future vehicles will be electric, showing that Porsche believes in the future of electric vehicles. (Boston, 2021)
Porsche is also 24% owner of Rimac Automobili, a Croatian electric supercar manufacturer, that owns 55% of Bugatti but also produces their brand electric vehicles. They hope to combine their resources to become bigger and better. (Pötsch, Döss and Meschke, 2021)
Porsche has a defined culture that has been cemented to be Ferdinand Porsche’s mindset. In their strategy, they state that they want to ‘’Drive change for a sustainable world’’. They also want their brand image to represent people that follow their dreams and are pioneers in their field with the entrepreneurial spirit. They want that their corporate culture represents unique changes and solutions that are sustainable for the world, please have a look at Appendix B to have a look at their corporate culture and strategy. (Porsche Our values and culture – Porsche AG, 2021)
We also delved deeper into Porsche’s sustainability and financial performance relationship and a bit of a back story. The following is a more summarized version of the rest of the research done, to see the rest of the research, please visit Appendix G.
Transforming into a more sustainable company has proven to be very beneficial for Porsche, not only for its brand image but also for its financials. Porsche’s third best selling car, the Porsche 911, has become their 4th best selling car, being surpassed by their fully electric Porsche Taycan. This is very big in the automotive industry, as the Porsche 911 has been the poster child for Porsche’s sports cars. Having an electric car with sustainability and eco-friendliness as the main message is showing to enormously change the dynamic within the automotive industry. In a time of uncertainty due to COVID-19, Porsche still managed to increase its sales by 13% in the first 3 quarters of 2021 compared to 2020, thanks to its Porsche Taycan and further implementation of sustainable strategies. (Vornehm, 2021)
The title of the scientific article is ‘’ To Get Companies to Take Action on Social Issues, Emphasize Morals, Not the Business Case’’. This scientific paper was accomplished by interviewing 400 people within various industries that worked in a supervisee position.
This scientific was chosen to help answer the research question, it helps explain how employees within Porsche can have a direct impact on its influence on sustainability/society. It challenges the way influence is perceived within a corporation and it discusses if business cases/economic viewpoints influence more strongly within a corporation as opposed to moral cases for solving sustainability issues for example. (Mayer, Ong, Sonenshein and Ashford, 2019)
This scientific paper relates because, in this whole blog, a narrative of Porsche has the influence and should use its influence to inflict positive change regarding the corporate sustainability performance within the automotive industry and society. However, by reading this scientific paper, one can also see that normal employees within the company itself also have huge influences on how a company operates and what its corporate sustainability performance will become.
In Porsche’s case, it could be argued to managers that because the founder of Porsche, Ferdinand Porsche made its first vehicle electric with sustainability in mind. Thus, it can be argued to management that the original mission for Porsche is to be sustainable.
What I found most interesting about this scientific paper is that it states, ‘’social change is often bottom-up’’. This can be applied to employees’ interaction with managers, but it can also be applied to consumers, this is something I believe in myself. I believe that we as consumers have the biggest impact on social change, that when saying Porsche can make an impact, it is us consumers that buy the products who make an impact. The people that buy an electric Porsche Taycan instead of a fuel-powered Taycan are contributing to the positive paradigm shift. (Mayer, Ong, Sonenshein and Ashford, 2019)
To conclude this chapter, your average employee within a company (in this case Porsche) has huge influences on the corporate sustainability performance of a company, however, they would have to find the courage to speak up. This encouragement should be welcomed and stimulated by companies like Porsche.
The YouTube video chosen is called ‘’ Talking Tech and 2020 with Bill Gates!’’ which features tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee and the globally known businessman, Bill Gates. The reason why I chose this video is that it helps support the statement made in chapter 5, discussing how Porsche influences influential people and in turn, influential people influence even more people globally. This video also has a great quote and has further discussions about the sustainable premium price. (Brownlee, 2020)
The quote mentioned in the video says, ‘’tackling climate change is going to take historic levels of global cooperation’’. It is saying that everyone must get involved if we are to make a significant difference, there needs to be global cooperation/collaboration. Bill Gates even mentions that a lot of sustainable products or solutions have a ‘’green premium’’ price tag attached to them, meaning sustainable solutions cost more. Bill Gates goes on to say that even when a premium price is attached, you can still get a car like the Porsche Taycan, which he owns and urges that from all the industries. (Brownlee, 2020)
As Bill Gates is currently the third richest man and highly influential, knowing that he has an electric Porsche might influence others to also buy electric vehicles This has been a big impact on Porsche, having. This video also initiated talks between Porsche and Tesla as Elon Musk was initially disappointed that Mr Gates did not purchase a Tesla. All this attention has put more eyes on Porsche to be more proactive and attentive with its corporate sustainability performance.
To conclude, this YouTube video relates even more now that time has gone by and we are even seeing that the Volkswagen Group, the one that Porsche is a part of, even invited Elon Musk to one of their management meetings. For a company to invite a competitor to motivate their team to do better and make the transition happen faster directly connects to the quote Bill Gates has stated. Companies need to cooperate to maximize the result improve the rate of improvement for the greater good. (Diess, 2021)
Conclusion & Recommendations
Looking at the initial research question, it can be concluded that Porsche has an undeniable impact on society and influences not only induvial people but other automotive manufacturers’ corporate sustainability performance as well. Porsche’s impact can be defined as an exponential impact as its actions and products influence other influential companies and influential individuals which in turn makes Porsche’s impact even larger on sustainability. Thus, when trying to determine and define Porsche’s corporate sustainability performance, one must also look at the subsequent added performance due to its indirect impact through influence.
Not only do they do and can have a more positive influence on society, but by doing so, they see better and stronger financial results. Or at least at this point, it does not damage their financial results. If they continue to apply sustainable strategies and even transform their whole product offering to be fully electric/carbon neutral, not only will Porsche be happy, but their customers and shareholders as well.
Porsche’s sustainable activities have had positive financial consequences Porsche. By having an electric sport’s car and by owning (partially) two fully electric automotive companies, Porsche is assisting in the shift to more sustainable transport. This proved that cars don’t have to make noise or use oil to be considered a good, sexy and reliable transport vehicle, this has inspired (along with Tesla), to also adopt more sustainable strategies and infrastructure.
We recommend that Porsche not only invest fully into the electric vehicle transition, like the companies that they have purchased (Rimac and Bugatti) but also try to encourage more people to go electric via their large reach on various social media platforms, especially Instagram.
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