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Porsche: Expect sports cars to change more in the next seven years than they did in the last 70

Key Points
  • The auto industry has seen a significant shake-up in recent years, with rapid development in areas such as the electrification of vehicles, ride-sharing and autonomous driving technology. Yet, more changes may be on the horizon, according to one expert at German automaker Porsche.
  • Porsche is set to launch its first-ever fully electric vehicle, the Taycan, in September. Earlier this year, the company told CNBC that it was doubling production for the Taycan even before its release.
Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, presents the name of the company's first electric car as "Taycan", during the event "70 years of the Porsche sports car" at the Porsche Museum.
Sebastian Gollnow | picture alliance | Getty Images

The auto industry has seen a significant shake-up in recent years, with the rapid development in areas such as the electrification of vehicles, ride-sharing and autonomous driving technology. Yet, more changes may be on the horizon.

"The (Porsche) sport car just got 70 years old last year ... but what you see is in the next seven years there will be more change than in the last 70, " said Anja Hendel, director of innovation management and digital transformation at Porsche.

Speaking with CNBC's Matthew Taylor at the Innovfest Unbound conference in Singapore on Thursday, Hendel said Porsche faces "tremendous changes" in the years ahead.

This year, she said, is "all about" electrification for the storied German automaker. The company is set to launch its first-ever fully electric vehicle, Taycan, in September. Earlier this year, Porsche told CNBC it was doubling production for the Taycan even before its release.

The sports car is expected to give Tesla a run for its money, or at least a run for its customers. Tesla sold 245,240 vehicles last year: 145,846 Model 3 sedans and a combined 99,394 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs.

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'Collaboration is key'

On the subject of adopting new technology at Porsche, Hendel emphasized the importance of collaboration.

"Porsche is a relatively small automotive company, we are not that big like all the big brands out there," Hendel said. "For us, collaboration is key, we are too small to do it alone."

"We have to to collaborate with industry partners but as well with start-ups," she added. "We love start-ups, we really like to work with them and, as we are small, it's much easier for them to handle us."

Asked how she attempts to understand nascent technologies such as artificial intelligence, Hendel said there is "always a little bit of trial and error."

"What we want to do is we want to be the gateway and the bridge between the science part and our real use cases, which is the biggest challenge in this field at the moment," she said.

— CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.