ANALYSIS OF THE PRODUCTION SYSTEM
History of Porsche
The earliest Porsches were built by hand in Austria, exemplifying the notion of “craft production”. The cars were produced largely by hand by highly skilled workers, one unit at a time. The resulting products varied subtly and were made to high standards, but were expensive and time-consuming to produce. In the aftermath of the war, Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory in Stuttgart was commandeered by American forces, and thus the car-building efforts took place in Gmünd, Austria. This was a rural mill town rather than being an industrial centre, and the Porsche family took to calling this stage of the company’s history “United Shed Corporation”. Workers had to produce the entire car by hand, including the body, which was the most time-consuming part of the process. In conjunction with financial and personal factors, Porsche was anxious to return to producing cars in Germany.
Money was pouring in for the Porsche family from the royalties of the Volkswagen Beetle, whose sales had taken off by that point, and to offset this income, the family needed to embark on industrial endeavours within Germany to use as write-offs. They were informed that they would have the Stuttgart factory back by the first of September 1950 and thus began making preparations to begin larger scale production in Germany. Thanks to the industrial activity in Stuttgart, Porsche could now contract a separate body builder to make the bodies of the cars, and chose Reutter, which was in business nearby making and repairing bodies for the city’s street trolleys. Reutter’s work had the necessary quality to satisfy Porsche, and thus, they entered a contract with the firm, which also allowed Porsche to assemble cars in a 5380 square foot corner of Reutter’s factory until Porsche’s factory was released by American authorities.
In June of 1950, however the Korean War broke out, and the Americans suspended all military