Porsche is currently exploring the possibility of joining forces with Chinese tech giants such as Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and Baidu in order to expand its digital portfolio in its largest market, and thus boost sales.
During an interview, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said that China-only features for voice recognition, navigation and integration of the WeChat messaging service will be developed locally, reports Autonews Europe.
The German automaker also signed an agreement to expand its research partnership with Tongji University.
“We want to have the right partnerships in place in each individual region,” said Blume. “It’s a misconception to believe all this can be developed in Germany.”
The VW Group’s most profitable brand is attempting to cater to the Chinese market, where people use the likes of Alibaba-backed AutoNavi and Tencent’s WeChat instead of Google Maps or WhatsApp. Meanwhile, other China-specific features in the works include interior illumination and softer suspension setups.
Porsche has also built a race track outside of Shanghai in an attempt to further promote its 911 model in the Asia country, a region where the likes of the Macan and Cayenne have so far proven more popular.
Still, according to Blume, Porsche doesn’t want to become too dependent on one market, which is why North America, China and Europe each currently account for roughly a third of global deliveries for the Stuttgart-based brand.