Porsche will boost workforce 24% in global expansion

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WEISSACH, Germany (Bloomberg) -- Porsche plans to increase its headcount by about 24 percent to underpin its global growth ambitions.

The Volkswagen Group unit will hire about 5,000 employees over the next five years, primarily outside its home market of Germany, Thomas Edig, Porsche's head of personnel, said at a press conference today.

The new jobs will be created in model development, production, sales and servicing, Edig said.

Porsche has added about 8,400 jobs since 2010. Its workforce totaled 21,100 people worldwide at the end of May.

The sports car maker has a target to sell a record 200,000 cars in 2015 after adding the Macan compact SUV in April, but says additional gains may be harder to come by.

"We won't continue to grow along the lines of the past four years, but we do need to expand on the personnel side," Edig said at the briefing in Weissach, Germany.

Industry cuts

Porsche's hiring counters the trend to cut headcount and costs in the European auto industry as manufacturers streamline operations following a six-year slump. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is seeking to cut 500 jobs at a French factory by offering early-retirement incentives. That's on top of plans to eliminate 11,200 employees in France.

While still adding jobs, the pace of hiring at Porsche will actually slow as the division balances sales and earnings gains, Edig said.

First-quarter operating profit at Porsche was about 18 percent of sales, and the division was the second-biggest contributor to Volkswagen's earnings, after the Audi unit.

Porsche's margin "absolutely remains" targeted at more than 15 percent, Edig said. "That's a goal we're sticking to, and we're not departing from it. And we need to continuously earn that. We don't want to get fat."

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