Regardless of what the purists think of it, Porsche found a winning business model with the Cayenne SUV. And based on that success, the German automaker is proceeding with plans to build its little brother at its Leipzig plant.
The new model, tentatively dubbed "Cajun," will be produced alongside the Cayenne and the Panamera. The decision by the company's supervisory board paves the way for over 1,000 new jobs to be created at the plant as well as at its headquarters in Stuttgart, with the addition of a 1.54 square-mile expansion of the Leipzig, Germany, plant to begin later this year. Details in the press blast after the jump.
PORSCHE TO BUILD THE NEW 'CAJUN' IN LEIPZIG
* Supervisory board decides on production site for new model
* Leipzig factory in Germany scheduled for a substantial expansion
* At least 1,000 new jobs to be created in Leipzig and Stuttgart
The decision about the production site for the newest model in the Porsche range has been taken.
The new vehicle with the project designation 'Cajun' will be manufactured at the Porsche factory in Leipzig, in the Saxony region of Germany. This was decided by the supervisory board. The monitoring body authorised the board of management to finalise plans for the plant to become a fully-fledged production site for the 'Cajun', including body assembly line and paint shop.
Within the context of the 'Cajun' production, at least one thousand new jobs are to be created in Leipzig, and additional new jobs at Porsche in Zuffenhausen and Weissach. Subject to approval by the authorities, construction work at the 400 hectare (1.54 square miles) site is scheduled to begin in 2011.
"During the production of the Cayenne and the Panamera, our Leipzig plant has impressively proved that it can produce premium vehicles of highest quality," said Matthias Müller, chairman of the Porsche AG board of management. "The decision in favour of this location is proof of our trust in the skills and qualifications of our Leipzig associates, and at the same time another contribution to the economic advancement of the region."
Uwe Hück, chairman of the group works council, said: "We had tough but fair negotiations. The employees' representatives have always been convinced that it is worthwhile to make the 'Cajun' at our Saxony plant. At the end of the day, the high flexibility and productivity of our colleagues has convinced the management board and the supervisory board to produce the 'Cajun' in Leipzig. We are therefore very happy that the supervisory board authorised the board of management to plan the expansion of the Leipzig plant and turn it into a fully-fledged factory. The production of the Cajun is a very good sign for Leipzig. However, we cannot rest now but have to start talks about a further expansion of the Zuffenhausen plant in order to adapt our parent plant to future growth, too."
Burkhard Jung, mayor of the city of Leipzig, said: "The decision of the Porsche AG proves yet again that Leipzig with its professional city administration is an attractive, cosmopolitan city and, therefore, an international business site with a future."
With the efficient and agile 'Cajun', Porsche extends its SUV segment which is in high demand all over the world. In addition to the new generation of the Cayenne which has clearly managed to strengthen its market position as one of the most successful sporting all-wheel drive vehicles in the premium segment, the lightweight and refined handling 'Cajun' - so typical of a Porsche - will create further momentum. As a desirable entry modeI, it is expected to pave the way for new, younger customers to enter the world of Porsche, in addition to the Boxster, the market leader among two-seat mid-engined sports cars.
Since its inauguration in 2002, the highly modern Leipzig plant in Saxony, Germany, has been producing the Cayenne. After its first expansion, the four-seater Panamera Gran Turismo has been built there since 2009, which is produced in a model mix with the Cayenne. To date, Porsche has invested around 280 million euro in Leipzig.