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The Innovations of Peter Schutz: Saving the Porsche 911

Peter Schutz is widely recognized as the man who saved the iconic Porsche 911 from extinction. His innovative ideas and leadership skills transformed the struggling company into a thriving and profitable business. Schutz’s contributions to Porsche not only revitalized the brand but also set a new standard for automotive innovation. In this article, we will explore the innovations of Peter Schutz and how they saved the Porsche 911.

The Challenging Times for Porsche

When Peter Schutz took over as the CEO of Porsche in 1981, the company was facing significant challenges. The 911, which had been the flagship model for decades, was losing popularity, and sales were declining. The company was also struggling financially, with mounting debts and a lack of direction.

Schutz recognized the urgent need for change and set out to save the Porsche 911 from extinction. He understood that the key to success was not just improving the product but also changing the company’s culture and mindset.

Embracing Customer Feedback

One of the first innovations Schutz introduced was a customer feedback system. He believed that listening to the customers was crucial for understanding their needs and preferences. Schutz encouraged Porsche employees to engage with customers and gather feedback on their experiences with the brand.

This customer-centric approach allowed Porsche to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to the 911. For example, based on customer feedback, Schutz initiated several design modifications to enhance the comfort and usability of the car. These changes included improvements to the seating position, ergonomics, and overall driving experience.

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Investing in Research and Development

Schutz understood that innovation was the key to staying ahead in the competitive automotive industry. He significantly increased the company’s investment in research and development, allowing Porsche to develop cutting-edge technologies and improve the performance of the 911.

Under Schutz’s leadership, Porsche introduced several groundbreaking innovations in the 911. One notable example is the introduction of the first-ever electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system in a production sports car. This innovation revolutionized the handling and traction of the 911, making it more capable and versatile in various driving conditions.

Additionally, Schutz spearheaded the development of advanced aerodynamic features for the 911, such as active spoilers and air curtains. These innovations not only improved the car’s performance but also enhanced its fuel efficiency and reduced drag.

Expanding the Product Lineup

Recognizing the need to diversify the product lineup, Schutz introduced new models to complement the 911. He understood that relying solely on one model was risky, as market trends and customer preferences could change rapidly.

Under Schutz’s leadership, Porsche introduced the 944 and 928 models, which targeted a different segment of the market. The 944 was a more affordable and practical sports car, while the 928 was a luxurious grand tourer. These new models helped Porsche attract a wider range of customers and generate additional revenue.

Revitalizing the Brand Image

Peter Schutz recognized that the success of the Porsche 911 relied not only on its technical innovations but also on its brand image. He understood the importance of marketing and branding in shaping customer perceptions and creating a strong emotional connection with the brand.

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Schutz implemented a comprehensive marketing strategy that focused on highlighting the unique qualities of the 911 and its heritage. He emphasized the car’s performance, craftsmanship, and timeless design in advertising campaigns and promotional materials.

Furthermore, Schutz actively engaged with the Porsche community, attending enthusiast events and building relationships with loyal customers. This personal touch helped strengthen the bond between Porsche and its customers, creating a sense of belonging and loyalty.


Peter Schutz’s innovations and leadership played a pivotal role in saving the Porsche 911 from extinction. His customer-centric approach, investment in research and development, expansion of the product lineup, and revitalization of the brand image transformed Porsche into a thriving and profitable company.

Today, the Porsche 911 continues to be an iconic sports car, thanks to the innovations introduced by Peter Schutz. His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of embracing change, listening to customers, and pushing the boundaries of innovation.

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