Porsche to add 1,400 jobs as electric sports car plan revs up

Porsche will add more than 1,400 new jobs as it revs up development of its first all-electric sports car to challenge Tesla Motors and plans an initial annual production volume of more than 15,000 vehicles per year.

Some 900 positions will be created in production, 300 in development and 200 in administration for the project dubbed “J1”, personnel chief Andreas Haffner said at a press briefing in the car maker’s hometown of Stuttgart in Germany.

Porsche, a luxury division of Volkswagen, is also seeking about 100 information-technology specialists, 50 digital experts and more apprentices, part of an industry-wide hiring push as car makers try to compete with the likes of Google and Apple in connected-car technology.

“One can in fact describe what is going on now as a ‘war for talent,’” Mr Haffner said.

Porsche has doubled its global workforce to 26,200 employees since 2010 to keep up with booming demand for its Cayenne and Macan sport utility vehicles.

Porsche is spending about €1bn to introduce its first battery-powered sports car in 2019, a cornerstone of Volkswagen’s push to move beyond its emissions-cheating crisis by offering more low- and zero-emission vehicles.

Based on the low-slung Mission E concept shown at last September’s Frankfurt auto show, the electric car will be produced at a new facility near the storied factory in Stuttgart’s Zuffenhausen district where Porsche makes the 911 sports car.

Porsche’s labour unions favour neighbour Robert Bosch to supply the battery technology for the sports car, supervisory board member Uwe Hueck has said.

Mr Hueck said Porsche needs about 10,000 annual vehicle sales for a model to be profitable and as soon as 20,000 deliveries per year are reached, “it starts to be fun” in terms of returns reaped.

“When we started the Cayenne and Panamera, we also signed off on the projects with estimated production volumes of 20,000 cars” annually, he said. The Cayenne turned out to beat estimates significantly.

Porsche’s best-selling model last year was the new Macan compact SUV, at 80,216 deliveries, followed by the Cayenne with 73,118 vehicles. Porsche sold 17,207 Panamera coupes in 2015 and is rolling out a revamped version this year.


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