This morning at about five a.m. a gas explosion occurred in the paint shop of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, at the main factory in Zuffenhausen. According to first investigations, it seems that gas had escaped from a PVC fusion oven which is used in the drying of paints. At present it is not yet possible to put a figure on the material damage. As the sprinkler system was activated, parts of the production line were under water as well as the paint shop. The police and the fire service as well as the Porsche factory safety unit came immediately to the site of the accident. Two employees were taken to hospital with slight injuries, but were able to be discharged in the meantime.
Porsche is forming a crisis management team headed by Production Manager Michael Macht and Staff Association Chairman Uwe Hück. Both already gathered first on-the-spot impressions of the damage a short time after the accident occurred. A works meeting was immediately called, at which the crisis management team informed workers on the early shift about the accident. The Chairman of the Board, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, was also continuously informed on the progress of the investigations.
According to present estimates, production of the 911 series will be at a standstill for at least two to three days. Daily production capacity at present is approximately 160 units. Since the body shell assembly, upholstery and engine assembly at the Zuffenhausen factory have not been affected, production of the Cayenne in the Leipzig factory and production of the models in the Boxster series by the Finnish Partner Valmet can go ahead as planned.
UPDATE (29th February 2008):
Porsche will be re-starting production of the 911 series next Monday, March 3, at the main factory in Zuffenhausen. Production was stopped last Monday following a deflagration that occurred in the paint shop, in which a PVC fusion oven was badly damaged. The material damage, amounting to several hundred thousand Euros, is largely covered by insurance.
The causes of the accident have now been identified. External experts have ascertained that the gas escape was due to a technical defect. An examination of the other ovens has shown that they are in perfect working order and fully functional.
By adopting special measures, it will be possible to compensate the production backlog of 800 vehicles that arose during this week in the course of the current business year.