Blog: Dave LeggettPorsche to build in US?

Dave Leggett | 9 December 2004

With the dollar hitting record lows against the euro and precious little sign of significant reversal anytime soon, making more vehicles in the US or NAFTA region makes increasingly compelling economic sense for European vehicle exporters with substantial US sales. Could Porsche be the latest manufacturer to seriously consider US assembly options? Wiedeking may like to stress the importance of the ‘Made in Germany’ label on Porsche cars, but there is already assembly activity taking place outside Germany. Boxsters are assembled in Finland (still inside the eurozone) by contract assembler Valmet, an arrangement arrived at some years ago due to capacity constraints at Zuffenhausen. It’s not something Porsche shouts from the rooftops.

But when that contract nears its end – I think it may be soonish – then what about shifting some assembly to the US? And where is that possible fourth model line to be built?

Maybe another contract assembler type solution would make sense, though some folks at Volkswagen may be interested in a plant in the US, shared with Porsche perhaps. Next Cayenne/Touareg could be an obvious candidate for US build. But would Porsche’s brand image suffer if the Volkswagen association were too strong? Volkswagen’s image in the US ain’t great these days. That actually may be a more important consideration for the Porsche brand than any perceived dilution of its Germanness due to US manufacture. European premium brands appear to be able to withstand that, at certain levels anyway. Ask BMW or Mercedes-Benz.


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