Markus Duesmann launches “Artemis” project

“The Volkswagen Group’s brands stand for excellent technologies – and have potential for much more,” said the Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Markus Duesmann. “With 75 planned electric models by 2029, the current electric initiative at the Volkswagen Group naturally ties up all our capacities. The obvious question was how we could implement additional high-tech benchmarks without jeopardizing the manageability of existing projects, and at the same time utilize new opportunities in the markets.” The project team will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally, from the high-tech hub of the INCampus in Ingolstadt to the west coast of the United States. Digital services will be provided by the Group’s own unit,, which is also based in Ingolstadt. “Artemis” will focus on new technologies for electric, highly automated driving with a specific model reference. Its first task is to create a highly efficient electric car that is scheduled to be on the road as early as 2024. The creative team will also develop an extensive ecosystem around the car, thus designing a new business model for the entire usage phase.

Alex Hitzinger will be the head of the “Artemis” project, reporting directly to Markus Duesmann as of June 1, 2020. Hitzinger was until now Board of Management Member for Technical Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, as well as Senior Vice President of the Volkswagen Group with responsibility for autonomous driving. “I value Alex Hitzinger for his strengths in innovation and implementation. We need both qualities to make major technological advances,” stated Audi CEO Duesmann, who also has overall responsibility for research and development at the Volkswagen Group. “I am also relying on his expertise to integrate future achievements into new products together with the development departments of our major Group brands. In the medium term, I expect ‘Artemis’ to provide a blueprint for a fast and agile development process at the Group, as agile as in a racing team.”

Hitzinger started his automotive career as a development engineer at Toyota Motorsport. At Ford/Cosworth, he was the youngest chief development engineer in Formula 1. Under his leadership, the first Formula 1 engine with a speed range of up to 20,000 rpm was created in 2006. After Red Bull Technology, Hitzinger joined the Volkswagen Group for the first time and built up the highly successful motorsport team at Porsche that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Endurance World Championship from 2015 to 2017. After three years at Apple in Silicon Valley, where he set up and managed product development for autonomous vehicles, Hitzinger returned to the Volkswagen Group in 2019 to develop autonomous driving and the ID. BUZZ at VW Commercial Vehicles.

Werner Eichhorn – Biography

Werner Eichhorn was born on January 1, 1963 in Großburgwedel, Germany.

After training as an industrial clerk at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, he began his professional career there in 1982. From 1982 to 1993, he held various positions in the Sales and Marketing division.

In 1993, he moved to AUDI AG in Ingolstadt, where he was responsible for sales in various European markets. He was appointed Head of Sales Europe in 2004.

From 2005 to 2008, Eichhorn was Managing Director of the Audi Sales division at FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun and played a key role in setting up Audi’s sales structures in China.

Following his first stay in China, Eichhorn returned to Wolfsburg in 2008 as Head of Sales and Marketing Germany for the Volkswagen Cars brand.

In 2012, he was appointed Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at Skoda.

Eichhorn took over responsibility for Sales North America at Volkswagen Cars in September 2017.

Since April 1, 2020, Werner Eichhorn has been the President of Audi China.

Capgemini and Audi launch new Joint Venture: XL2

XL2 was founded by Audi and Capgemini to support the automotive industry in digital transformation tasks. The joint venture that focuses on consulting and technology services for cloud and SAP S/4HANA® includes industry solutions such as SAP Leonardo®. XL2 is designed to enable end-to-end digital manufacturing, covering all central processes, including production planning, logistics, finance, maintenance, quality and materials management. Projects of the legally independent entity are to be carried out for Audi. The first focus areas are SAP projects for production and master data management, as well as development in the context of cloud-based applications.

XL2 embodies an agile innovative start-up culture backed by two global brands

Capgemini and Audi have a long-standing partnership in developing solutions for digital transformation and co-innovation. The new co-owned company strengthens this collaboration and leverages their joint capabilities. The formation of XL2 takes the partnership to a new level and continues the successful collaboration in developing solutions and co-innovations for digital transformation. XL2 will benefit from the combined experience and expertise of the two global leaders. Its independence and agility, combined with the rigor and breadth of the large organizations, aims to address the rapidly changing requirements of digital transformation in the automotive sector.

Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG: “XL2’s flexible and scalable way of working and its focus on important key technologies is part of our vision and our needs in further advancing digital transformation. Our long-term relationship with Capgemini and its proven capabilities in the automotive and SAP sectors makes it the right partner.”

The joint venture will have dual leadership: by Géraldine Aubert, previously Vice President of Packaged Based Services at Capgemini, and Felix Spitznagel, previously Director SAP Acceleration Center at Audi. The goal of this agile, innovative company is to build a powerful workforce within the next five years in order to service more projects in the future. The company is now looking to recruit namely SAP consultants, software developers as well as analytics and data engineers, from graduates to established experts. XL2’s headquarters are located in Heilbronn in Germany, in close proximity to Audi’s production site in Neckarsulm. The vicinity of the Audi production site is noteworthy and an additional enrichment of the ecosystem. The Audi location in Neckarsulm also offers an ideal testing and application environment for IT solutions in the field of digital production.

Markus Winkler, Global Head of the Automotive Sector at Capgemini said “XL2 is an exciting new brand that stands out from the market combining an agile start-up culture and the experience and capabilities of two industry leaders. Its employees will shape digital transformation in the automotive industry with key state-of-the-art technologies. For that, we are excited to join forces with Audi, a technology leader in its own industry.

For more information on XL2:

Audi further expands its e-commerce offerings together with retail partners worldwide

“We’ve been engaged with the mega trend of digitalization for a long time now. Given the distancing required to contain the global coronavirus crisis, this has now picked up even more momentum worldwide,” said Sven Schuwirth, Head of Digital Experience and Business at AUDI AG. “As a result, we have been able to very quickly offer a variety of agile solutions that enable a seamless digital customer journey. New e-commerce offerings in conjunction with our dealerships play a key role here. We are increasingly converting our worldwide websites from purely informational tools to true transaction tools.”

An online reservation tool for in-stock vehicles from Audi partners went live in the French market this week. For a lump sum of EUR 100, customers can immediately reserve available new and used cars from dealers via the Audi website and thus secure their dream car. The respective dealer will then contact the customer directly and handle the contractual details and delivery of the vehicle, even to the customer’s home, if desired. This e-commerce solution will gradually be rolled out to other European markets, with the rollout in Spain starting in June.

Another e-commerce project has meanwhile been launched in Germany: On a new, Group-wide platform, customers will be able to buy new cars around the clock directly from Audi dealer stock. An initial pilot project with one Audi partner is now underway, with additional dealerships to follow successively over the course of the year. “The aim is to offer a complete digital solution that is contactless and available 24/7, and that conveniently covers every step of the car purchasing process from any location: from the purchase using various payment options to registration and personal delivery to the desired location by our Audi partners,” said Martin Wallenborn, Head of Business Development Market Germany at AUDI AG. With respect to financing, the Audi pilot project is first starting with cash purchases. For the medium term, the company is focusing on an end-to-end digital solution for financing and leasing through Audi Bank. The online shop can now be accessed at This solution will also be rolled out successively in other markets worldwide.

Audi already started online sales of used cars in Germany in autumn 2017. Around 130 Audi partners offer an average of 4,000 used Audi models online here. This sales channel will be moved to the new online platform by the end of the year. The premium mobility service Audi on demand has also been available completely digitally since last year: Customers in Germany can book their dream Audi online for a period of between one and 28 days at

The digital reservation and purchasing solutions also feature various tools for online service and consultation. With Audi Live Consultation, for example, Audi is further expanding its digital sales business, offering dealers and customers a contactless alternative to visits to a dealership. The application connects sales and service staff with customers and potential Audi buyers with the use of data glasses, which enables individual meetings to take place directly at and inside the car, regardless of location.

Audi also recently started answering questions about its vehicles’ equipment details by using video tutorials, such as those at Most of the 60 videos currently available here apply across model lines and focus on various aspects such as operation of the navigation system.

Audi dealers, especially those in China, have found creative digital solutions in recent months to keep in touch with customers and to win over new fans. Audi opted for a purely digital format when launching the new Audi A4 L, which is one of the brand’s most popular models in the Chinese market. An interactive cloud workshop virtually connected Product, Design and Marketing experts from Changchun, Beijing and Ingolstadt with around 800 media representatives. Millions of interested customers experienced a digital “Super Cloud Launch” that included augmented and virtual reality formats in cooperation with a television station. In addition, Chinese Audi partners have made use of live streams, virtual reality showrooms and 24-hour online consulting to stay in touch with customers. The Chinese market has shown significantly increased interest in e-commerce. In the first three months of the year, the company almost tripled the total number of its online transactions from 2019. This means that about one in six Chinese customers initiated their Audi purchase online.

Digital planning of production halls

Planning production halls from home? Sounds impossible – but it is already a reality at the Audi Neckarsulm site – more specifically: a digital reality. Using special software and hardware, production halls and entire buildings have been scanned in 3D. The three-person Audi team led by project manager Andre Bongartz has been working together with the Munich-based start-up NavVis for a year. The scan results in a virtual model of the production site. This can be used as a basis for planning production without being on location. At the same time, the 3D scan generates a point cloud that records every machine and system. With the aid of machine learning, the virtual model of the hall is then linked with the point cloud so that the entire hall, including all machines, systems, and shelves, can be accessed virtually. This not only saves Audi employees a great deal of time and costs but also enables site-independent planning. “Especially now, during the coronavirus pandemic, our digital planning system provides enormous advantages: Planers can measure the production halls from home and thus plan systems precisely without even having a pocket rule in their hands,” according to Bongartz.

In the future, all production halls at the Neckarsulm site will be scanned digitally. Apart from that, other use cases, such as indoor navigation and an augmented reality (AR) planning application will be implemented as part of the 3D scan.