Just a few days ago, Porsche issued a report stating that as much as 60% of Panamera customers, in some markets, are purchasing hybrid models. Between the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, there are two electrified models of Porsche’s big luxury touring sedan to choose from, and they’ve both proven to be quite popular. In certain countries, demand for a hybrid Porsche is even higher than that average. For example, Belgium-bought Panameras are 90% skewed toward hybrid power.
From a recent interview with Gerd Rupp, head of the Leipzig plant where Panameras are assembled, USNews reports that Panamera hybrid production has doubled in the last 12-months, and Porsche may be running low on supply of batteries. Our favorite German automaker claims they’ll build around 8000 Panamera hybrids in 2017, and they don’t see demand slowing at all. Considering that they’re also developing a line of full EV “Mission E” models in the near future, running short on battery supply already could become a real issue in the next couple of years.
“At present we are able to meet customer demand well,” Rupp said in an interview with Reuters. “But there are limits because we are dependent on the capacities of battery suppliers.”
“As a buyer we had originally projected different volumes (of demand for hybrid models). The effects can be seen in longer delivery times of currently 3-4 months for Panamera hybrid models.”
When it comes down to it, Porsche will have to find a source to supply them with batteries if they want to continue growing the hybrid and EV lineup.
There’s a Need For Engineers and Skilled Labor
Rupp also confirmed that Porsche is having trouble filling job market positions for mechatronics engineers, computer programmers, and tooling mechanics. Because German manufacturers have all begun ramping up their high-tech hybrid, full EV, and autonomous driving offerings, every tech school graduate is currently getting snapped up as soon as they submit their CV.
The Leipzig factory currently employs over 4000 people to make Panamera, Macan, and some Bentley components. It is predicted that Mission E will also be built in this facility. Because of this high demand market, Porsche is investing heavily in offering education programs to uptrain their existing staff to handle the new work.
This is a good problem to have, if you’re Porsche. If you are a Panamera E-Hybrid buyer, however, the story might be a little different.