Porsche Upgrades Zuffenhausen Factory to Accommodate Electric Sports Cars

Porsche AG is undertaking a significant renovation of its Zuffenhausen factory in Germany to prepare for the production of the highly-anticipated 718 electric sports car and powertrains for the Macan EV. With an investment of over 250 million Euro, the facility is being overhauled to support the manufacturing of these electric vehicles.

The new 718 Boxster electric model has been spotted in testing since November 2022, but Porsche has not yet announced an official release date for the platform. The company has also not revealed any details about a hardtop version, known as the Cayman. Porsche has faced challenges in expanding its electrified portfolio, and the Macan EV has experienced multiple delays, reportedly due to software issues within the larger Volkswagen Group electric portfolio.

While the Macan EV will not be assembled at the Zuffenhausen factory, its electric motors will be produced there. The 718 Boxster (and potentially the Cayman) electric models will be manufactured alongside the 911 on the same assembly line, along with the internal combustion engine variants of the 718 family. Porsche has not announced any phaseout dates for its internal combustion engine vehicles, and the company intends to produce ICE 911 sports cars as long as there is demand from customers and compliance with emissions regulations. It is expected that there will be a significant period of overlap where both the ICE and electric versions of the 718 sports car will be in production.

As part of the factory renovation, Porsche is implementing automated rolling lift vehicles (AGVs) to replace the traditional conveyor belt assembly line. This transition will enhance flexibility and adaptability within the plant layout while improving efficiency. In addition, the company is adding more quality checkpoints and upgrading existing quality areas to cater to the specific needs of electric cars, such as the acoustic test platform.

As Porsche takes concrete steps towards electric vehicle production, the firm has not provided a definitive release date for the electric Boxster and Macan. While the press release reaffirms Porsche’s commitment to launching the Macan EV in 2024, specific details about the timing and location remain undisclosed. With competitors vying for customer attention, the absence of an electric Macan may provide an opportunity for other automakers to make a compelling case to potential buyers.

1. What is Porsche renovating its Zuffenhausen factory for?
Porsche is renovating its Zuffenhausen factory to accommodate the production of the upcoming 718 electric sports car and powertrains for the Macan EV.

2. Will the electric 718 models replace the internal combustion engine versions?
Yes, the electric 718 models will eventually replace the internal combustion engine versions. However, there will be a significant period of overlap during which both versions will be produced.

3. What upgrades are being made to the factory?
The upgrades include the implementation of automated rolling lift vehicles (AGVs) to replace conveyor belts, the addition of more quality checkpoints, and the upgrading of existing quality areas to cater to the unique needs of electric cars.