By WILLIAM TELFORD, Business Editor, Plymouth Herald

  • Joachim Lamla, Porsche’s chief financial officer
  • On the production line at Porsche
  • A Marque with prestige
 CAR giant Porsche’s Leipzig HQ is shaped like a diamond – which is appropriate for a firm which has brought riches to the city’s economy.

Porsche opened its second factory in the east German city in 2002, after Leipzig beat 16 other German cities in a bidding heat by stressing its central European location and transport links, plus available and affordable land and workers.

With about 300 jobs straight away, the car plant had an immediate impact on employment levels in the former Soviet Bloc location.

But Porsche, whose main base is in Stuttgart, has continued to invest in the Leipzig facility, building two new phases of the factory, with extensions in 2009 and a 500million-euro development in 2013 to allow for full production of its Macan model.

In total, the plant represents a 777million-euro investment.

And staffing has increased too, until today 2,500 people work on-site.

When supply companies, such as logistics firms, are considered too, it means 4,500 people are working at Porsche Leipzig.

They are producing three models of the high-end marque: Macan, Cayenne and Panamera, with 107,000 cars rolling out of the factory each year, and exports to 125 countries.

The firm also says Porsche helps the region, generating about 6,000 jobs in the wider economy.

The 400-hectare site pulls in 35,000 visitors a year too, mainly car dealers and customers, with some even getting the chance to sample the 6km test track and off-road route, on an environmentally-friendly patch, where the firm has planted 1,100 trees.

And there are plans for further factory expansion, with an enlargement planned for 2016 which will see more jobs.

“Leipzig still has a lot to offer for the development of the business,” said Dr Joachim Lamla, chief financial officer, explaining that the firm can compete with any other factory in the Volkswagen group, its owner, for car production, something planned when recent extensions were built.

“We see ourselves as citizens of Leipzig,” he said. “We are giving something to the economy, but Leipzig is giving something to us: people.

“Leipzig is growing population wise, and we forecast this will still continue for the next five to 10 years.”

Aside from a skilled workforce, he also praised the city for smoothing the way administratively for Porsche’s arrival – the council owned the land on which the factory was built – and for being the sort of cultural city it wants to be part of.

In turn, Porsche supports the city, sponsoring cultural and sports events, including a 1.3million euro donation for the restoration of the St Nicholas Church organ.

“Leipzig was looking to get more industry, to re-build its industry,” Dr Lamla said. “And it can say ‘look Porsche has come here, it’s a good place to invest’.

“So we are working together with the city.”

Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Heading-heading-heading/story-21183597-detail/story.html#ixzz33g9ixOPg
Publicity generated by Dorcas Media

DORCAS BREAKING NEWS: The Rockhoppas the homecoming, episodes one & two, now on our website