70 years now of Porsche in Zuffenhausen
Filed under: News
It was on June 26, 1938 that Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG, as the enterprise was then called, moved from Kronenstrasse 24 in the center of Stuttgart to newly-built premises in the district of Zuffenhausen. In May 1937, Ferry Porsche had already acquired a site there at the address Spitalwaldstrasse 2 (as it then was), thus determining the location of the later Porsche factory. 70 years on, the building newly completed in 1938 still forms a central part of the factory complex in Zuffenhausen.
Right from the beginning, an important chapter of motoring history was written at the main factory in Zuffenhausener: after the first prototypes of the Volkswagen had been pieced together – still in the garage of the Porsche villa on the Stuttgart Killesberg hill – the pilot series of what became known as the “VW-Beetle” was made in Zuffenhausen in 1938. The bodies, built in the neighbouring car body works Karosseriewerk Reutter, were mounted on chassis at Porsche and exhaustively tested. Also of historic significance is the building of three Type 64 racing coupés in 1939. Originally intended for the Berlin-Rome long distance race, the aerodynamically streamlined cars are regarded as the forbears of all subsequent Porsche models.
The production of sports cars in Zuffenhausen began in 1950 with a makeshift arrangement: up to the end of 1955, when the Porsche’s main factory was given clearance by the American army, bodywork production and vehicle assembly for the Porsche 356 took place mainly on the premises of Reutter.
In 1952, an addition was made in the form of the Porsche-Werk 2, designed by architect Rolf Gutbrod. This was followed in 1960 by Porsche-Werk 3 which housed, among other things, the sales and customer service departments. In 1964, directly following the launch of the 911, Porsche KG then took over Karosseriewerk Reutter, together with its workforce of around 1,000 employees.
Today the 911 series – and all Porsche engines – are produced in Zuffenhausen. The factory is subdivided into the areas of Body Shell Assembly, Paint Shop, Vehicle Assembly, Upholstery, Engine Assembly and Test Stands. In order to ensure flexible production in a limited space, Porsche has developed special solutions, including several superimposed manufacturing ‘levels’ in Body Shell Assembly and Vehicle Assembly. Another special feature: Porsche’s serially-produced cars are manufactured together with the racing versions on the same assembly line.
As an additional acknowledgement of the location of Zuffenhausen, a new museum with a total area of 24,000 square meters is being built next to the Porsche factory. In future, 80 valuable historic vehicles and other exhibits from the history of the enterprise will be presented in an exhibition area of 5,600 square meters. Not only will this go down in the history of the enterprise as the most spectacular building project ever commissioned by Porsche; it will also enrich the City of Stuttgart by creating another cultural and architectonic landmark.
Other locations of Porsche factories are the Weissach Research and Development Center and the factory in Leipzig opened in 2002, where more than 200,000 Porsche Cayennes have rolled off the assembly line so far, and where the new series, the Panamera, will be built from 2009 onwards.