The first project under Artemis will be to “develop a pioneering model for Audi quickly and unbureaucratically,” Audi AG CEO Markus Duesmann said in a statement Friday. The unit is aiming to design and produce what Audi describes as a “highly efficient electric car” as early as 2024.
“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, car.Software.org, 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.
The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in 11 countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH (Neckarsulm, Germany), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).
In 2019, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.846 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 8,205 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 53,183 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2019 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €55.7 billion and an operating profit of €4.5 billion. At present, 90,000 people work for the company all over the world, 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on sustainable products and technologies for the future of mobility.