German luxury sports carmaker Porsche said it plans to create 2,100 jobs next year with the manufacture of its new upscale sports coupe Panamera model.
Porsche's Stuttgart plants alone will see the creation of 400 new jobs
Porsche's chief marketing head, Klaus Berning told German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport the Panamera car would create 2,100 jobs, including 600 for the Leipzig assembly line and 400 at other Porsche plants in Zuffenhausen and Weissach in the western state of Baden-Wurttemberg by 2009.
Assembly of the manufactured parts of the four-door Panamera model will generate a further 600 employment opportunities across Europe. Porsche's partner car manufacturer Volkswagen will also benefit from the new model, Berning said.
"500 employees will be involved in bodywork production and spraying of the cars at Volkswagen's Hanover plant," he said.
"We don't chase volume"
Porsche plans to produce 20,000 cars in 2010, the first full year of production. Berning said the number could be increased depending on demand.
Both Volkswagen and Porsche are set to benefit from the new model
"Just like other car manufacturers, we have a very flexible production goal, we have to see how the market responds." Berning told Auto Motor und Sport magazine.
Berning said Porsche had no plans to manufacture in the United States and he rejected speculation that luxury-oriented Porsche might add a small sports utility vehicle (SUV) to its range.
"We don't chase volume. We aim to make money with every single car. The bigger a market segment is, the harder that becomes," he said. "So the small SUV is definitely not the way Porsche will be going."
VW revs up US plans
Meanwhile, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that Volkswagen is going ahead with plans to set up a US car plant to make 250,000 cars a year.
The magazine said the site would in 2010 begin manufacturing a car that was at least $3,000 cheaper than Volkswagen's current family sedan.
Andreas Meurer, a Volkswagen spokesman told German news agency DPA the site would make a "Passat-sized car specially developed for the US market," but no name had been chosen for the model yet.
Savings would be achieved by downgrading features such as the elaborate live axle used in the Passat. He said a final decision would be made by the Volkswagen supervisory board in July.
Three US states were in the running to host the plant: Alabama, Tennessee and Michigan. Like other German manufacturers, Volkswagen has been hit hard by the fall in the dollar, making imported products very expensive in the United States.