“An incredible feat and a great team effort”
On 21 March, Porsche stopped production due to the coronavirus crisis. Albrecht Reimold, Production and Logistics Board Member at Porsche AG, explains how the sports car manufacturer has ramped up production step-by-step.
Mr. Reimold, Porsche has been producing sports cars again for a good month. How do you view the restart?
Not being able to produce for six weeks was a tough blow. On March 21, we initially only suspended production for two weeks. However, the bottlenecks in global supply chains did not allow an orderly restart. When this was possible again in early May, there was great relief. Since then we have ramped up production step by step.
How many employees did not work in production during the mandatory break?
Not everyone was on short-time work. We also reduced work time accounts and backlogged leave. In the Leipzig plant, the non-production time affected more than 3,000 employees. We have not registered any short-time work in production since May. We are ramping up production, building sports cars again and making our contribution to boosting the economy in Germany again.
When ramping-up, were there any differences between the plants in Stuttgart and Leipzig?
Conceptually, everything went the same way. The restart was coordinated in detail between production, procurement and our suppliers on a trade-specific basis. Production of the Cayenne at the VW plant in Bratislava had already started two weeks earlier - but in a smaller number, so as not to put excessive strain on the supply chains right from the start and provoke new bottlenecks in the supply of parts.
The pandemic affected each country to different extents. In Germany, too, the south is more affected than the north. Different model needs required different actions.
Did Porsche have to support suppliers financially because they ran out of money?
That happens sometimes. At Porsche, we maintain cooperative partnerships. My colleague on the executive board, Uwe-Karsten Städter, who is responsible for procurement, is in constant contact with our suppliers. However, the latter did not concern manufacturers of components, but suppliers of manufacturing systems.
By when do you want to have reached your normal production level again?
We have ramped-up production continuously in the past weeks. And after less than four weeks, we have reached a high level and our regular capacity again. Here and there we are even a little bit better off than we were before production stopped. It was an incredible feat and a great team effort.
Jun 04, 2020 at 02:24