Porsche Previews Revolutionary Production Facility for All-Electric Taycan
Porsche will use a system of automated guided vehicles similar to what’s used in the aerospace industry.
Porsche is quickly pushing its way into an electrified future and its flagship Taycan is leading the way. On Monday the automaker revealed specific plans on how it will build its production line for the electric sedan, more specifically, how the new facility will meet its goal of smart, green, and lean production once it kicks off in 2019.
Rather than build another manufacturing location altogether, Porsche decided to modify its Zuffenhausen plant for Taycan production where it will build a factory within a factory, coupling existing infrastructure and services to produce what it calls: "flexi-line production".
Using this method, Porsche's production will be easily reconfigurable to meet the needs of other electrified models that are slated to arrive in the near future. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) will navigate Porsche's floor to transport vehicles during the production process, enabling Porsche to say that it will be the first automaker to use the AGVs through the entirety of its vehicle manufacturing process. Similar systems are used by the likes of Boeing to build passenger and cargo planes.
Porsche also states that the investment in its company will bring 1,200 new jobs to the plant, servicing both the electrified Taycan as well as the existing lineup of two-door sports cars. The automaker elaborates its goal, which emphasizes knowledge-sharing between experienced and new staff, allows employees to become well-rounded in all things Porsche. Additionally, Porsche says that its knowledge from entering the season six of Formula E will help to better prepare its staff for electrification.
The heavy investment in staff and manufacturing equipment is part of Porsche's $7.4 billion investment into electrification. Despite being an astronomically large expenditure, the German luxury sports car maker states that it is still targeting a profit margin of 15 percent across its brand. Profits will be earned by selling digital offerings in addition to its luxury vehicles.
“We predict that over 50 percent of Porsche models delivered from 2025 will be electrified,” said the Deputy Chairman of Porsche's Executive Board, Lutz Meschke. "In addition to efficient processes, the revenue from digital products and services should also increasingly contribute to our economic success."
Production for the 600 horsepower all-electric Taycan is said to begin in 2019 and may lead to disruption of auto sales among other EV manufacturers. The move towards electrification has been enabled by the recognition of Tesla as a threat to the luxury brand's auto sales. Porsche's North America CEO Klaus Zellmer admitted that some of its potential customers were lost because the options that were being sought out by consumers simply didn't exist in the automaker's product line, but with the introduction of the Taycan that could all change.