Porsche's Lorenz says cars will continue to be sold by dealers (Photo: Claus Dick)

HANOVER - Porsche is moving slower with the implementation of car connectivity than the premium auto makers, the brand's IT manager, Sven Lorenz, said Thursday.

"That's because our drivers really want to drive, rather than play," Lorenz told the automotiveIT Congress here. He said customers of premium brands such as Audi, BMW or Mercedes have a stronger requirement for in-car connectivity.

The slower pace at Porsche doesn't mean the company isn't working on a range of connected car services. Lorenz said these will come soon with the introduction of Porsche's first plug-in hybrid.

Later this year, Porsche plans to launch plug-in hybrid versions of its Panamera and 918 Spyder models.

Lorenz said Porsche, which is part of Germany's Volkswagen Group, will use the group's standardized infotainment architecture to roll out new connected-car services. These will, in first instance, include functions such as remote diagnostics or apps that allow remote activation of heating or air conditioning systems.

The Porsche executive noted that demand for connected-car services is higher at sister brand Audi. "So we let our sister brands take the lead in the area of connected-car services because these are very much in demand there," said Lorenz. "We are the fast follower."

Lorenz also said online purchases of new cars are likely to grow slowly, because car buyers still want to touch, feel, hear and drive a new car before they buy it. But he noted that "in all markets, information gathering before a purchase is exclusively done online."

The automotiveIT Congress is held each year during the CeBIT high-tech fair. The conference, which brings together more than 500 executives from the IT and automotive industries, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.