Porsche is investing €500m at its Leipzig plant and adapting its lean logistics system to increase output in 2012. The increase will include the full assembly of the Macan SUV (previously referred to as the Cajun), which is being introduced this year at the Saxony plant alongside existing Cayenne and Panamera production.

The German premium carmaker is starting the transformation at Leipzig by introducing a three-shift operation and adapting both the lean logistics system and other business areas to meet the increased output.

David Jakob, manager Material Planning, at Porsche Leipzig, told Automotive Logistics that the carmaker will be applying its ‘New Logistics Concept’ in the shift model being introduced at the plant, which will also be employed on the forthcoming Macan production.

“We are transferring the concept to the supply chains we are currently reengineering,” said Jakob. “This illustrates just how flexibly our logistics concept has been designed – we are able to use it for our future activity without reorganisation or any further development.”

Porsche is working with logistics provider Schnellecke on the implementation of the new system.

The Volkswagen Group, in which Porsche is being integrated, has also been implementing the ‘New Logistics Concept’, which includes increased synchronisation of production to suppliers, linked to VW plants via crossdocks (read more here).

The €500m investment will make Leipzig a fully-fledged factory with its own paint shop, which is currently being built, and capacity for full body assembly by 2013. The Macan model will be completely assembled at Leipzig once this is complete with a daily output of 500 vehicles over a five-day week.

“In future, a new focus area will be transporting bulky pressed parts to the new body assembly plant,” said Jakob. “To that end we are putting in place several direct daily shuttle movements between the suppliers and the Porsche factory.”

In terms of outbound movements, Porsche will be using rail from its own freight department, which has four tracks on the plant premises.

“Most of the new Porsche vehicles will be carried by Deutsche Bahn using the block train and full protection concept for shipment to German seaports,” said Jakob. “Depending on destination we also use HGVs for a smaller proportion.”

An additional 1,000 jobs are being created at the Leipzig site for the Cajun project and Porsche is recruiting and training new personnel in the quality, body assembly and logistics fields – “an important item on the 2012 agenda,” according to the company.

Jakob added that new logistics employees are primarily engaged in logistics process and space planning but that further tasks will be added, including technical change services and materials management, as well as the logistics integration and connection to Porsche suppliers.

Last year Porsche Leipzig produced more than 93,800 vehicles (roughly half as many Panamera models as Cayennes), an increase of 47% compared to the year before.