To keep pace with its rapid sales growth and investments in new models, Porsche needs significantly more engineers, Wolfgang Hatz, the sports car maker's r&d chief, told Automotive News Europe.
“We are growing at a tremendous pace. We hired more than 300 engineers last year over and above replacing people who left as part of normal staff turnover,” Hatz said.
Porsche will hire more than 300 engineers again in 2012, Hatz said. "That will increase the size of our core staff by nearly 10 percent across all departments,” he said.
Currently, about 3,500 employees work at Porsche’s Weissach development center near Stuttgart.
Porsche, which expects global sales of more than 115,000 units in 2011 compared with 97,000 in 2010, aims to reach annual sales of 200,000 units by 2018.
Big R&D budget
Porsche is investing heavily in new models.
Hatz said the brand’s r&d budget is “significantly more than 10 percent of revenue,” which is double the industry average of 5 percent to 6 percent.
In 2012, Porsche will launch sales of the new Boxster and new 911 convertible, as well as the Panamera GTS. The new-generation Cayman, the new 918 Spyder and the Cajun compact SUV will follow in 2013.
Despite the postponed merger of Volkswagen Group and Porsche, the two companies are pressing ahead with improving synergies through joint development.
The Cajun, for example, will share underpinnings with the Audi Q5. VW and Porsche already cooperate to build the Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 on the same platform.
Hatz said electrical, electronic and infotainment systems provide good opportunities for a single development approach.
Within the VW group, Porsche has responsibility for VW's rear-wheel MSB (modular standard toolkit) architecture. Audi is in charge of the group's front-wheel-drive MLB (modular longitudinal toolkit) while VW brand develops the MQB (modular transverse toolkit).
Last month, Porsche personnel chief Thomas Edig said the brand will create about 1,000 new jobs each year as part of its Strategy 2018. Porsche currently employs about 13,000 workers worldwide.