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Porsche on a ‘Mission’ for top employees

Mission underway: Porsche’s Mission E concept forms the basis of the sportscar marque’s first electric vehicle that is due to be launched globally at the end of this decade.

Wanted: 1400 employees, most with new-age e-mobility smarts, to work on Porsche EV

Porsche logo28 Jul 2016

PORSCHE is preparing to hire more than 1400 new employees to work on the development and production of its inaugural all-electric sportscar based on the Mission E concept unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show last September.

This is up from the 1000 previously anticipated late last year when the German sportscar marque officially gave the program the green light and announced it would invest around €1 billion ($A1.5 billion) to create the hi-tech zero-emissions vehicle.

The production model’s nameplate is still to be revealed, but the car is due for release at the end of the decade and Porsche has declared it as “beginning a new chapter in the history of the sportscar”.

Porsche this week acknowledged the difficulties it was experiencing in recruiting personnel with expertise in digitisation, e-mobility, smart mobility and vehicle connectivity, particularly when most of the world’s leading car-makers – including key rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Tesla Motors – and technology companies such as Google and Apple are all investing heavily in this area.

Indeed, the company’s head of human resources and social affairs Andreas Haffner described the current competitiveness in the industry as “a war for talents”.

“We are in direct competition with other auto-makers and suppliers and IT firms in our global search for talented experts,” he said.

“Money alone is not enough to attract these creative minds. You also need to offer exciting challenges, an inspiring environment, the greatest possible freedom to create and, now more than ever, attractive programs for the work-life balance.

“However, with the hiring of more than 1500 college graduates over the last five years, we have shown that we can offer secure jobs with attractive career opportunities.”

As well as connected-car technology experts, Porsche said its recruitment drive was focusing on production planners familiar with Factory 4.0 – part of the so-called fourth industrial revolution that relies heavily on digital processes and software-based systems including the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and cloud computing.

It is also looking for 50 “creative individuals” to work for its newly established subsidiary Porsche Digital GmbH “to integrate the latest technologies into mobility solutions”, while new apprentice numbers will be pushed up from 150 to 220.

Porsche says it has received more than 140,000 job applications over the past year – including 7500 for the apprenticeships on offer – and that its staff turnover rate is just 0.6 per cent.

According to Mr Haffner, the VW Group-owned sportscar manufacturer – which has doubled its workforce since 2010 and as at the end of June had 26,200 people on the payroll – is also focusing heavily on retraining workers at its Zuffenhausen factory as production processes change.

“With the factory for the Mission E, we will usher in a new era with new technologies,” he said. “That’s why we’re hiring new people – but it’s just as important to improve the skills of our current workforce.”

Porsche Digital GmbH was set up earlier this year to strengthen the company’s position in the area of digital mobility solutions, including connectivity, smart mobility and autonomous vehicles.

It is headed by Thilo Koslowski – a widely recognised IT guru who joined Porsche in April after making his name as an expert in new-age automotive technology with US IT consulting firm Gartner – and based in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, with further sites to be set up in Berlin, Silicon Valley and China.

The new subsidiary is designed to keep Porsche up to date – and ahead of the pack – in terms of new and emerging technology, with a focus on developing partnerships and equity holdings in venture capital funds and start-ups “which offer offer opportunities for close collaboration with innovative, high-growth companies, talents and new technologies”.

Porsche chief executive Oliver Blume described the new venture as “a logical step in order for Porsche to successfully position itself for the digital future”.

“Innovation does not emerge by itself,” he said. “It is all about developing ideas systematically.

“Porsche has many ideas. The challenge is to think across functional divisions, use external resources and take concrete action very rapidly – especially in the digital environment.”

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