Porsche likely to focus Panamera production at Leipzig plant, report says

Move could threaten 800 jobs at parent VW

Porsche currently splits the manufacturing of the Panamera, shown, between two plants in Germany.

BERLIN (Reuters) -- Porsche will probably focus production of the next generation of the four-door Panamera at its plant in Leipzig, Germany, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, in a move that could threaten jobs at parent Volkswagen AG.

VW welds and paints the Panamera's bodies at its factory in Hanover, Germany, for assembly in Leipzig, where Porsche also makes its best-selling Cayenne SUV. Some 800 of the 14,300 jobs at VW's commercial-vehicle plant in Hanover depend on the Panamera project.

The sports-car maker is mulling plans to fully base production of the second-generation Panamera at the eastern German facility, the two sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential.

The model is expected to come to market around 2016.

A spokesman for VW in Hanover declined to comment. Porsche said no decision had been taken on where the Panamera will be made.

Porsche has spent about 500 million euros ($680 million) in Leipzig on a new body and paint shop to prepare the plant for production of its new model, the Macan compact SUV, due to go on sale in the spring of 2014.

The Leipzig factory produced 27,056 Panameras last year.