Porsche in Lower Saxony

Gary S. Vasilash

Whenever you see a picture like this, where there is a bunch of people wearing ties surrounding a car, a couple guys in suits behind the wheel, giants signs, and factory workers wondering how they’re going to make up production time, you can know that it is either a job one or a visiting politician.

Boxster factory

In this case, it is the former.

Specifically, it is the first Porsche Boxster that’s rolled off the production line at the Volkswagen Osnabrück assembly plant earlier this week.

Yes, that’s a Porsche being built in a Volkswagen plant. A plant not in Stuttgart.

Of course, as Porsche is now part of Volkswagen Group, it can direct production pretty much wherever it wants it.

As Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, put it, "The production of the Porsche Boxster in Osnabrück is a clear sign that Volkswagen and Porsche are growing together fast. Production in Osnabrück creates synergy effects that will benefit customers, employees and the plant."

There is another reason, too. Capacity.

Matthias Müller, Porsche president and CEO, explained: “Due to the way things are in Stuttgart there is no easy way to expand our main factory. Over the next few years, we will be fully utilizing our own production capacity predominantly with the 911 model. We therefore looked for a partner for producing the Boxster. The decisive factor in our choice was the great expertise of the workforce at Volkswagen Osnabrück. Our sports cars are in very good hands there. After all, we all have the same concept of quality. Osnabrück will become a part of our success story.”

Turns out that the Osnabrück factory has more than a little Porsche cred. It made bodies for the 356 hardtop coupe during the 1960s and for the Porsche 968 in the 1990s. And it has been providing rear and side parts for the current Boxster from the start of its production.

Volkswagen Group is going to use the Osnabrück factory as competence center for convertible and small series production within the Volkswagen Group. The VW Golf Cabriolet is being built at the plant, as well.

This competency center designation undoubtedly means the workers there will be seeing a bunch of guys in suits on several future occasions.