We recently interviewed Manfred Bräunl who assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, earlier this year. He worked previously as the Vice President Marketing at Porsche China Motors prior to which he served senior management positions for various automotive giants. With decades of worldwide experience in marketing and sales for premium automotive manufacturers, he is set to strengthen the position of Porsche in the region.

What does Porsche mean to you?

Porsche, for me, is not only the most iconic but also the most authentic sports car brand in the world. The brand balances setting new standards as a premium manufacturer with excelling in motorsports and focussing on future innovation. Meanwhile at the heart of it all, is a constant pursuit of evolution, ensuring that the next range of models continue to carry the unmistakable Porsche DNA, setting it apart from any competitors in the market. This is the spirit that has made Porsche what it is today.

What does your current role as the CEO of Porsche MEA encompass?

I lead a team of professionals that cover 20 countries and 65 Porsche facilities across the GCC, Levant, Africa and India. This gives me a variety of responsibilities, ensuring all-encompassing importer support, which includes network development, sales, marketing, customer relationship management, public relations, After Sales and Motorsport.

How has the 1st quarter in your current role been like?

It has been fascinating and challenging in equal measure. I’ve arrived during our busiest ever year for product launches, which is exciting but requires a lot of energy regionwide. However, this does allow me to see our operation at its best, with everyone working in top gear, all committed to delivering success for our customers. And with all that activity going on, I’m grateful for the warm welcome from the team and the importers. Travelling to the Porsche facilities in the main markets and speaking with local management gives me an understanding of their desire to continue improving, and what is required to achieve that.

What exciting projects are you working on currently and in the near future?

The evolution of our brand icon, the timeless 911, is currently being introduced across the region. And, we are gearing up for the global unveiling of our Taycan this September. It will be a milestone in Porsche’s history with our first ever fully electric car. It will represent a key moment in our E-Performance strategy and, following this, we expect to launch our all-electric sports car in this region in 2020. With acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in considerably less than 3.5 seconds, and a range of up to 500km on a single charge, it will be a game-changer. It has also been confirmed that the Formula E season will begin in November in Saudi Arabia, a date which also marks Porsche’s debut in the championship. So, we have a full plate, and around that, I am focussed on taking stock of my responsibilities and then building a strategy for the Middle East for the short, medium and long term.