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Old 06-26-2008, 07:59 AM   #1
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Boxster/Cayman production moving

I read this on Motor Authority this morning...

Production of the Porsche Boxster and Cayman will switch from Finland’s Valmet Automotive to Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, from 2012 onwards, Porsche announced today. The Austrian manufacturer secured the contract because it submitted the most financially attractive offer, and because it had the expertise and capacity to build cars to the standard Porsche expects, the sports carmaker revealed.
Valmet Automotive first started building the Boxster range in 1997 and has since produced more than 200,000 cars. Its current contract is set to end in 2011.

Porsche will supply the engines and various components, ensuring some production remains at its main factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany. Further synergies arise from the numerous supply relations between Porsche and the Magna Group, which already manufactures several key components for Porsche including convertible roof systems and bodywork components.

The next couple of years will be very busy for Magna Steyr, which recently secured contracts to build the new Mini SUV, Aston Martin Rapide and upcoming Peugeot 308 RC Z coupe.

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Old 06-26-2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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I wonder how the end game plays out at Valmet.
a. The contract is going away and the workers know it, but
b. You want to keep a good reputation for future contracts, sooo

Do the final units at Valmet run any risk of QC issues?
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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Nothing like being told your $xx,xxxx car will be built by the lowest bidder
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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From Valmet's website...

Valmet Automotive's current assembly contract with Porsche to come to an end in 2012

(Metso Corporation Press Release on June 26, 2008 at 1.00 p.m.)

Porsche AG announced today that they will not renew the current assembly contract with Valmet Automotive. Porsche's announcement is not estimated to have any short-term impact on Valmet Automotive's operations as the Uusikaupunki plant will continue to manufacture Porsche Boxsters and Caymans until 2012 as agreed in the 2004 contract. Valmet Automotive has been manufacturing Porsche Boxsters since 1997 and Porsche Caymans since 2005.

Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, says that the plant has two to three years to sign a new manufacturing contract and thus to safeguard production without major breaks: "We can offer world-class production quality. Recently we have been complementing our manufacturing capabilities with consistent development of our own in-house manufacturing engineering, product development and project management services. This will improve our possibilities to win new contracts in the ongoing negotiations with other car manufacturers. Unfortunately, this time our offer did not meet Porsche's future demands."

Holger P. Härter, Deputy Chairman of Porsche SE, and as Chief Financial Officer responsible for the allocation of commissioned production, comments: "Over the last eleven years, Valmet Automotive has built more than 200,000 sports cars of outstanding quality for us. Our decision not to continue the successful cooperation is in no way a vote against Valmet. Rather, it was the high development capacity and competence of our future partner that tipped the balance."
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by limoncello
I wonder how the end game plays out at Valmet.
a. The contract is going away and the workers know it, but
b. You want to keep a good reputation for future contracts, sooo

Do the final units at Valmet run any risk of QC issues?
I would be concerned with elevated QC issues from today until contract end. I think Valmet just lost THE major contract for them and porsche production probably occupies most of their capacity.

As a result, I would expect morale to take a substantial hit. If something like this happened at the plant I work at, where the contract you are known for is at end of life, everyone would be ____ a brick. Anytime the workforce knows their job security and futures are at stake, this will take a mental toll on everyone and add to stress and reduce concentration. Furthermore, it will demoralize people and they will lose loyalty to their assembly work for Pcar.

In addition, I would expect a lot of quality challenges at the start of manufacture at any new facliity. Making a complex system like a car to perform at the quality level you or I would want over the lifespan of product we need is not easy. If the work is sub-'d out I would be very worried at the startup production. If it moves to stuttgart (yeah right lol) where they have past experience on fnal assembly and make many of the lower level assemblies (engines, brakes, etc) I would not be as concerned.

Anybody know what they are thinking for future assembly? More sub out or bring in house. If they sub out more, I would interpret this as more cost trimming as opposed to anger over delivery on production schedule, quality, meeting reqs. from original contract SOW, etc etc
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
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Does this mean my '02 Boxster S made at Valmet will bring special value in the future? Yeah, I thought so.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by racer_d
Nothing like being told your $xx,xxxx car will be built by the lowest bidder
Hehehe. We're used to that in the military.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
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My suspicion is that you'll see a drop in quality once production begins in Austria. Finnish manufacturing quality is considered one of the highest in the EU while Austria's is not.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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Austrians brought us Redbull and figured out how to make a Brazillion dollars doing so (privately!). Those guys are purty smart.

They'll be qc issues because it's inherit in taking over a project. But the Austrians have a giant incentive in doing a better job than the Finns and snag future contracts from other German car companies.

But I tip me hat to Finland. My Porsha has been nearly bullet proof going on year eight. Might be the best Porsche ever built from a cost of operating perspective.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:44 AM   #10
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This may mean that a changeover to a new 988 or replacement for the 987 will not occur until after the move to Austria.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:21 AM   #11
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I wouldnt worry about quality for a while, how many people get a 3-4 year warning that there job may go away. Valmet is a good company and will fill the void, I would be more worried about pricing in 2012 when they start up and are probaly dual sourcing, you never know if it will be smooth or cause a gult in the market.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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Maybe Porsche is outsourcing the wrong items for production. Perhaps the Austrians can make the engines for them?

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Old 06-29-2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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What is strange is Porsche opened the Leipzig ( former East Germany) factory a few years ago where they make the Cayenne and use to make the Carrera GT. Always thought it was strange they did not move the Boxster/Cayman production over there.

Maybe Porsche needs Leipzig for the Panamera sedan.

At least Porsche did not outsource it to India or China.

Never understood why BMW does the sheet metal stamping for Porsche when BMW had the Z3 and now Z4. Maybe the Austrian company can do it.

A bit of trivia. What is now called the Magna company in Austria has as one of the founders Johann Puch. He and Dr. Porsche go back to the war times when they made military vehicles. Both also did work for VW.

As far as the engines. I say let Toyota back into the picture. Toyota is the company that showed Porsche how to build the 986/996. Give Toyota the engine contract.

I would also like to see the tractor back into production.

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