Wholesale production of Porsche sports cars has ceased for the first time in years after CEO Oliver Blume announced an initial two-week factory shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure was put in place on 21 March, before a nationwide order of lockdown was triggered in Germany, which was set to last until 19 April. German chancellor Angela Merkel has said it is too early to be thinking about scaling back such measures, which will have a detrimental effect on when Porsche can resume building cars including the 911. A Porsche spokesman told Drive-My EN/UK: “We expect the factory to remain shut for the production of sports cars for the next few weeks.”
While the factory is closed, Porsche has upped its efforts to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, including studying how best it can help the medical industry at this time. CEO Oliver Blume said: “We are currently clarifying with the state government which components are required. They range from protective goggles to respiratory masks. As a first step, we have already forwarded protective clothing from our stocks to the state government. And, together with our parent company, Volkswagen, we are participating in the procurement of further equipment on a large scale, especially from China.”
Meanwhile, the company is stepping up its corporate social responsibilities by donating €5 million to people in need as a result of the virus, and is spending €200,000 on donations to food banks. “We can learn from this experience after the crisis. What we take from this can shape the way we live together and everyone can benefit from that,” Blume remarked.