Our doc, Rainer Koll, a Porsche driver by trade (if I can really afford the car, it's too late) told me a little story when I told him what was on today's agenda for our day off. A few years ago, he was sitting in front of a street café in Cologne, a somewhat older lady, probably close to her seventies, parked a car opposite. Comment of a young man at the next table: "What a waste!.Yes, the Porsche myth lives in all of us. Even I, as an outspoken car buff, who considers Formula 1 to be a basic mathematical law and Schumacher to be a dying craft, lost my senses today. Through the mediation of the local Sparkasse board member Hans-Jürgen Klumpp (Cologne Red-White and for years a favorite field hockey promoter and door opener during our visits here) had arranged for us an invitation to the Porsche factory, here at the gates of Leipzig for the last three years. Shortly before we reached the airport in Schkeuditz, we were greeted by a building modeled on an airport tower. Only much bigger and more expansive with a wonderful panoramic view over the factory premises and the test track. But more about that in a moment. Here we were able to admire a selection of legendary Porsche racing cars. Even the Formula 1 muffle in me showed interest.
Then we went into the plant. Very different from what I remembered from my visit to the VW plant in Wolfsburg anno 1962. No oil stain anywhere, no blue overalls. Rather white-collar employees (of which there are 400 here), who accompany the car parts uniting by magic (wedding is probably also called logically, when chassis and engine come together). Here and there a handle, five-minute intervals. With us it does not depend on quantity, the coworkers are to provide for quality.A computer keeps track of what they do, every work process is stored on a DVD for 15 years and later sources of error (which of course do not exist) are documented. 140 Cayennes leave the Leipzig factory every day, 40,000 a year, most of them by train to Emden and from there to the USA. Which are also beside Asia and Arabia main buyers of the likewise in Leipzig built Carrera, of which per day three are really assembled in a car manufacture following each special request. 40 of them drive in Germany, the rest all over the world. 450000 costs such a vehicle in the basic equipment. Personal delivery with a one-day driver training course is part of it.
We were also allowed to experience a little of this driver training. At the end of our visit we were allowed to drive a Cayenne for two laps on the test track. No, do not drive yourself. But a test driver showed us how a car can also approach curves. Fake left. Then skidding in on the right. Head of delegation and DHB sports vice president Hans Baumgartner was happy when he was allowed to leave the projectile again. The two buns from the pit stop just before wanted to get out again. But for all the others it was a lot of fun. As of today, even the writing car slacker on this laptop can appreciate how much engineering and ingenious research work has gone into such a car. The Porsche myth reawakened. Even though we were brought back to earth and back to the hotel afterwards with the stately fleet of our Hyundai partner with its quite comfortable Trajets.