According to the will of the new Audi boss and Volkswagen development board member Markus Duesmann, Hitzinger’s elite team should ensure that Europe’s largest car company makes up for its technological deficit compared to its young rival Tesla. The new group subsidiary, which is named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, is to develop a new model for the Volkswagen group in a record time of four years. According to industry circles, the planned Audi electric car has the working title “Landjet”. Although Artemis relies on the PPE electrical platform developed by Audi and Porsche, Porsche is initially left out, as Hitzinger said. “But the second model will be a Porsche.”
While 10,000 employees work in research and development at the Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg alone, Hitzinger is building a small, powerful unit with short decision-making paths. “Artemis has the great advantage that we don’t have to drag along and transform the past. Tesla also has the advantage,” said Hitzinger. “In the end, 200 to 250 colleagues should work at Artemis GmbH,” explained the 49-year-old engineer who used to build Formula 1 engines for Porsche, among others, and later developed autonomous vehicles at Apple. In addition to its headquarters at the Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt, the new subsidiary will also have a branch in Munich.
“We are planning an overall concept that combines aerodynamics, external design and an efficient electric drive,” said Hitzinger. He is planning a division of labor between his people, the new Volkswagen organization for software development and the other areas of the group. “Artemis GmbH focuses on cutting-edge technologies. We are developing new methods and new instruments with which we can produce faster and more cheaply,” said the manager. “We don’t want to do what Audi is already very good at. I don’t need any body designers at Artemis,” explained Hitzinger. “Traditional car manufacturers certainly have deficits in some areas. But they definitely have their strengths. For example, they are very good at producing large quantities.”