In a continuing drive for Germany to remain the heartbeat of the global automotive industry as the sector goes through its greatest upheaval in over a century, Porsche is partnering with Europe's largest digital publishing house -- Axel Springer SE -- on a new business accelerator. The goal of the new venture, which was announced on Monday and will need to receive approval from antitrust authorities before it can become a reality, is to support the development of new digital start-ups that have the greatest potential to disrupt an industry.
"Our aim is to work closely with company founders to get digital innovations up and running together as fast as possible. To achieve this, we are building an ecosystem across industries that helps start-ups in the early stages to develop their ideas in a way that is oriented towards customers and focused on success," said Thilo Koslowski, Managing Director at Porsche Digital.
The two companies hope to have the accelerator up and running by the spring of 2018 and while it will initially represent a joint venture between the two firms, Porsche is happy to extend participation and investment to other like-minded companies that can help nurture new talent and ideas.
The digital revolution is reshaping every aspect of our lives from how we stay connected with our friends, to how we shop, where we take vacations and how we travel. Soon the concept of owning a car for personal use could be as outdated as a VHS cassette, thanks to the growing popularity of ride-hailing and ride-sharing businesses.
Likewise, the growing innovation in areas such as autonomous driving technology will soon lead to what Intel has coined "The Passenger Economy," where every person traveling in a vehicle is a passenger and able to do other things while the car drives itself -- from streaming video to ordering food and running no end of digital errands.
Porsche is part of the VW Group, a company that is investing heavily in creating a digital ecosystem of products and services tied to mobility to help it navigate the current automotive revolution so that it can continue to add value to consumers via a raft of services when selling cars alone is no longer enough.
As one of the most lusted after and successful performance car companies in the world, Porsche is also taking steps to expand its own brand footprint and is embarking on a plan to move further into the area aspirational lifestyle and consumption with Porsche hotels, clothing, jewelry and most recently, a "Passport"' service that will allow subscribers to pay a flat monthly fee to use the exact type of Porsche they need, when they need it.
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