For Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, however, the demand for specialist retro-styled goods such as training shoes and vinyl records gives him cause to be optimistic about driver-focused sports cars, the kind of which his company excels in.
I sometimes worry that, should the Fun Police get their way, by 2036 we’ll be ferried around in deathly silent and boringly efficient electric pods, devoid of soul and interest for car enthusiasts.
Blume is more optimistic. His future is all about choice: whereas some driving enthusiasts might be enthralled by the cutting-edge electric sports cars Porsche will make in the future, those who desire old-school thrills will still be catered for by the 911 and its ilk.
“Look to other industries, for example, sports shoes,” he says. “Today you can buy sports shoes from the 1970s or 1980s and people love them. I’m convinced that ten years from now we will have fans who like to drive a sports car where you can feel that it is a real car. That is our strategy; in the future, Porsche will [still] be Porsche.”
He might have a point. A US consumer analyst company, NPD, reported that sales of retro-styled sports shoes went up by 30% in 2015 compared to the previous year. That sector of the footwear industry is worth a cool £2.6m per year.