Porsche will develop products that go beyond the making of sports cars (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche is broadening its business goals from merely building premium sports cars to becoming a "leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment."

The company said its supervisory board has approved the foundation of Porsche Digital, a separate business unit that will be run by Thilo Koslowski. The former Gartner analyst recently joined Porsche to spearhead the digitization of the company.

“Porsche Digital GmbH will strengthen the brand, develop innovative customer experiences and attract new partners," Supervisory Board Chairman Wolfgang Porsche said.

Most car brands have over the past couple of years been stepping up their activities in new business areas, buying car-hailing apps, building up software expertise and investing in digital technologies that should bring in revenue even when car sales slow.

They have also been recruiting technology executives to serve as chief digital officers tasked with bringing the traditional car industry into a new era.

Porsche said the its new subsidiary will bundle digitization efforts in three areas: product, customer and companies. The unit will work closely with all departments to test and implement new business models and products. It  also will take a leading role in identifying new technologies that are relevant to Porsche's core business.

Partnerships with innovative companies will be a particular focus of the new subsidiary and Porsche said this will include equity holdings in venture capital funds and start-ups.

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in the press release that he is launching a major innovation offensive across the company. Said the CEO: "The challenge is to think across functional divisions, use external resources and take concrete action very rapidly, especially in the digital environment."