Last month, VW Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) announced that its Hanover site will build the flagship electric vehicle for Audi’s Artemis project from 2025, alongside the bodywork of a sister Bentley car.
Originally, the factory was also to manufacture the Porsche variant of the same vehicle, but the luxury sports car maker withdrew from the deal, motivating its car not to need the functions of advanced autonomous driving of the Artemis project. Porsche executives believe that these functions would not be suitable for the clientele of buyers focused on the performance of the brand.
As a result, the Zuffenhausen-based brand lobbied the VW Group to have its version of the vehicle built at a Porsche factory. The parent company has approved the request, but it will cost Porsche some 100 million euros ($ 113 million) to redeem itself from the project, according to sources cited by Automobilwoche.
According to initial plans, Hanover was expected to build 25,000 units of the Porsche model per year, and VWCV had included the production estimate in its financial planning to ensure job security at the plant until 2029.
Porsche will now have to pay compensation to VWCV, allowing the latter to replace the lost production with other models.
The luxury sports car maker will move production of its flagship electric product, known internally as the K1, to its factory in Leipzig, Germany. The automaker plans to start production in 2026, a year later than expected in Hanover.
Delay aside, Porsche’s decision makes sense given that its model will not be based on Audi’s Artemis, but will use the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture jointly developed by Audi and Porsche.
The same platform has been developed by Porsche to underpin the next all-electric version of the Macan SUV and an electric Panamera, due in 2024 or 2025.
The president of the works council of the Hanover plant, Bertina Murkovic, said “disappointment“at the rejection of the site by Porsche but declared that the plant will operate at full capacity for this decade thanks to the new products confirmed.
These include the T7 Multivan (including a PHEV and T7 California version), T6.1, ID. Buzz in the People Mover and Cargo versions, ID. The Californian electric motorhome, Audi’s Artemis project and the body of the Bentley model based on Artemis.