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Porsche Acquires Toolmaking Capabilities from Kuka

June 21, 2015
Automaker gains in-house expertise for forming, fabricating lighter materials Purchase cost undisclosed 600 employees, two plants Innovative tool concepts, “emotional design”

Porsche AG has acquired Kuka Systems GmbH’s Tools and Dies business, the toolmaking interest of the industrial automation and robotics manufacturer. The business has 600 employees at two plants, in Schwarzenberg, Germany, and Dubnica, Slovakia, and will be renamed Porsche Werkzeugbau GmbH.

The business will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Stuttgart-based Porsche, a Volkswagen AG holding that manufactures high-performance sports cars, SUVs, and sedans.

“By taking over the toolmaking division, Porsche is making important moves for the sports car production of the future,” stated Matthias Müller, president of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “From a strategic point of view, the integration is a major step for us. There is additionally a decades-long tradition of craftsmanship and technology linking our companies.”

In terms of strategy, the purchase signals Porsche’s desire for more in-house expertise in the development and production of automotive parts. This would be in line with all automakers’ expanding application of lightweight materials, including aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced materials, to reduce vehicle mass in order to comply with carbon emissions limits.

“Innovative tool concepts are enabling us to implement the emotional design typical of Porsche with the maximum possible quality,” explained Dr. Oliver Blume, a member of the Porsche’s executive board for production and logistics. “The employees of our new subsidiary are distinguished by their very high level of expertise across every step of the toolmaking process.

“We are especially able to profit from this expertise in complex aluminum parts relevant to lightweight design,” Blume said.

Neither the buyer nor the seller announced details of the sale, but one report estimated its value at $11.35 million-$28.4 million. The takeover has yet to be approved under European Union antitrust regulations, Porsche noted.

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