Porsche Canada’s year-over-year sales plummeted by 42 percent in March, not unlike many other automakers experiencing what we’re all going through right now, voluntary self-quarantine due to COVID-19, and the sinking sales story isn’t much different elsewhere in the world, but this hasn’t stopped the automaker from being generous.
The luxury brand donated five million euros to “people in need as a result of the virus” and also spent 200,000 euros on food donations to charitable groups.
“Porsche already supports a large number of charitable initiatives and we are significantly extending this commitment during the coronavirus crisis,” stated Porsche Chairman of the Executive Board, Oliver Blume. “There are people who urgently need help and we are concentrating on providing humanitarian aid. We can overcome the pandemic only if we work together and show solidarity.”
What’s more, Porsche has been putting its specialist staff to work fighting COVID-19 too, including its medically experienced personnel and IT experts, while the Stuttgart-based automaker is also supporting its Porsche employees that want to volunteer their services.
Additionally, Porsche is assisting with technical materials and supplies, such as procuring personal protective equipment (PPE), plus it’s also deploying vehicles and providing logistics operations in the event of supply bottlenecks and transport needs. The brand is using its media presence to assist in important messaging too, while Porsche is also donating and granting funds to numerous organizations requiring support due to COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are supporting the food banks at our locations this year with 200,000 euros,” added Blume. “In addition, we have made an offer to certain charitable organizations to provide vehicles with drivers, perhaps where there is a bottleneck in the transport of relief supplies or people. We have also increased donations from Porsche AG by five million euros. This amount will be used to support local organizations and people who are in need as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Our employees also help personally and voluntarily with the charitable organizations at our locations.”
Thanks to Porsche’s ability to develop auto parts and produce them in house when needed, which is the case for all large automakers, Porsche is considering the deployment of its 3D printers to produce critical medical products.
“We are currently clarifying with the state government which components are required,” continued Blume. “They range from protective goggles to respiratory masks. For highly specialized medical products, you have to comply with the legal requirements and certifications. Here, the lead must lie with the medical technology specialists, who could then delegate orders to the automotive industry. Our 3D printers are available in any case. As a first step, we have already forwarded protective clothing from our stocks to the state government. And together with our parent company, Volkswagen, we are participating in the procurement of further equipment on a large scale, especially from China. We must also ensure that we look beyond the medical sector and recognize where our help is needed.”
It would be one thing to offer such assistance during the good times, but like many other automakers, Porsche is showing this generosity after halting production on March 21st for an initial period of two weeks.
“We are assessing the situation as it presents itself,” said Blume. “The most important thing for us is that the supply chains can be rebuilt as soon as possible. We are less dependent on China than we are on our European neighbours. In this respect, I hope that we as a society will manage to contain the coronavirus and that we will then receive a signal at European level as to when we can all restart production.”
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche