STUTTGART, Germany - Porsche and Volkswagen will build their jointly developed sport-utilities in different plants - a surprising change from the original plan to produce them on the same line.
Porsche said it will build its own version of the luxury off-roader in Leipzig, Germany, mainly because it believes that its premium-car customers prefer Porsche products to have a German production site.
Porsche will invest more than $53 million in a new factory in the eastern Germany city. Porsche said it plans to build 20,000 sport-utilities a year.
Volkswagen will produce 80,000 per year at its plant in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava where the 4x4 Golf and Bora are built.
The two models will have a common platform but different styling. They are scheduled to go on sale under separate brand names in 2002.
Porsche had insisted that its premium-priced vehicle be produced in a high-image location - mainly out of consideration for its crucial North American market.
Porsche's Leipzig plant will be linked with Volkswagen's production network, which receives parts from several VW sites. Sheet metal pressings will come from Hanover and Wolfsburg in Germany; axles and suspensions from Braunschweig and painted bodies from Bratislava. Engines will come from Porsche's main plant in Zuffenhausen, near Stuttgart.
Porsche, which sells two-thirds of its cars abroad, hopes to boost its sales significantly by adding the sport-utility as a third model to its lineup in addition to the 911 and the two-seat Boxster.
Last year Porsche sold about 38,700 cars.