Tesla hires Audi’s Senior Director of Production to build the Model 3 program

Tesla hires Audi’s Senior Director of Production to build the Model 3 program

Very promising news / as if I couldn't get more excited .....

Peter Hochholdinger - Audi’s Senior Director of Production behind the manufacturing programs of the A4, A5 and Q5 vehicles

Resume / Experience (from Linkedin)

Senior Director of Production, Models A4/A5/Q5
April 2011 – Present (5 years 2 months)Ingolstadt
In charge of the Production of 380000 Vehicles per Year, 10,200 Employees, overall responsibility for a budget of 750 million €
Experienced manager who has been successfully leading various departments for the past 20 years; management of the entire process chain of the Audi production in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Senior Director Press Shop Devision
February 2007 – April 2011 (4 years 3 months)Ingolstadt / Neckarsulm

Project Manager Business Optimizing Programm
January 2006 – February 2007 (1 year 2 months)Ingolstadt / Neckarsulm

Director Tool Shop
April 2000 – December 2005 (5 years 9 months)Ingolstadt

Director Machining Dept. & Sales and Control
1997 – 2000 (3 years)Ingolstadt

Head of Assembly Dashboard, Tires & Testing
1996 – 1997 (1 year)Ingolstadt

Assistant to the Board Member of Production
Audi AG
1994 – 1996 (2 years)Ingolstadt

Mike83 | 2016年5月13日

Great news!

akgolf | 2016年5月13日

Sounds like a good start.

Drdpharris | 2016年5月13日


Haggy | 2016年5月14日

This one left the Tesla critics speechless.

david.jones24 | 2016年5月14日

Score. This ramp up will be epic.

cquail | 2016年5月14日

Wow! Renewed confidence that the Model 3 will happen.

lolachampcar | 2016年5月14日

Now that is a resume.
Holly crow.

george210 | 2016年5月14日

Great News!! Make TESLA's MODEL ☰ begin shipping in volume by the end of 2017!

Madatgascar | 2016年5月14日

If Peter succeeds, he will have accomplished a feat the entire business and automotive press just deemed impossible. An exec like this would only accept that kind of challenge after seriously talking through the path to success with Tesla and convincing himself he would have the resources to make it happen.

This should be good for TSLA.

Badbot | 2016年5月14日

Lucky guy now he has Tesla on his resume.

Al1 | 2016年5月14日

Very successful career. Now let's see if he can make history. | 2016年5月14日

There is going to be some culture shock moving from VW to Tesla. Hope he survives it.

mntlvr23 | 2016年5月14日

@George - at least he won't have to fake any emissions tests ..... ;)

Remnant | 2016年5月14日

@ (May 14, 2016)

<< There is going to be some culture shock moving from VW to Tesla. >>

Indeed. One well known thing about being Deutsch is being "pünktlich".

Perhaps this appointment is, among other things, Tesla's way of announcing to its current and future customers that its history of production delays is behind it.

sp_tesla | 2016年5月14日

If this does not work out, Lexus Director of Production is best hope for reliable & quality product.

Ross1 | 2016年5月14日

ROFL. My turn to say VAPORWARE.

Let us see him perform in the circus

markeink | 2016年5月15日

@ (May 14 2016)

Well, I wish for Tesla that they will indeed include an extensive cultural immersion for Peter who has been in the VW/Audi culture for 22 years. I am observing with disgust how VW/Audi have been violated emission laws that safeguard the health of their customers (diesel exhausts may be the main culprits for the increase in asthma and respiratory problems in Germany).

I put my cash down to drive in a Tesla - nothing else.

I extend my best wishes to Peter to embrace the Tesla culture and contribute the amazing talent that he has to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport.

Bighorn | 2016年5月15日

If Peter turns the Tesla into a gas/diesel burning hybrid, I'm canceling my order. Mark my words.

PBEndo | 2016年5月15日

You might want to reconsider once you see how low the emissions are (during emissions tests).

Al1 | 2016年5月15日

I believe Audi and Volkswagen have different command and control chains. He could neither introduce those practices nor do much about them. He could have guessed something of course, but the same is true for anybody in the car industry.

Al1 | 2016年5月15日

I know this is a joke, I find it even funny, but there will be plenty of people willing to tie his name to emissions scandal now that he joins Tesla.

mbb | 2016年5月15日

He knows a lot more about volume production and supply chain. A good time to join to setup model 3 production process

carlgo2 | 2016年5月15日

Give him authority to get things done and bonuses when he does.

lolachampcar | 2016年5月15日

SV Startup play for a manufacturing guy.... Pure heaven.

vp09 | 2016年5月15日


Haggy | 2016年5月15日

I'm sure he asked more than a few questions before taking the job. He must have started off becoming familiar with Tesla's plans, their proposed suppliers, where they stand with specs, what sort of ramp up plans they already had in place, and what budget they were working with. I'm sure he considered what the process would involve and whether the time frame and cost estimates are realistic. I imagine that on the other side, Tesla went over in detail what issues he faced when starting up a plant from the ground up or changing to a new product line, or what sort of challenges did he deal with that were unanticipated and that he was able to overcome and avert large problems. I'm sure Tesla talked about issues they had and asked how he might have dealt with them. This isn't something that happens unless both sides are sure it's a good fit. It goes way beyond deciding that he looks good on paper.

I would imagine that Tesla offered a typical Silicon Valley compensation package that's loaded toward long term success with huge stock options or RSUs. Knowing Musk, I wouldn't be surprised if he started off with a salary offer in the $500K range and an overall package that would be hard to walk away from if things go as well as Tesla expects. I'm sure he took the job expecting huge success. You don't walk away from a good job after 22 years unless you see a great opportunity that won't blow up in your face in a few years.

david.jones24 | 2016年5月15日

@ Haggy + 1

He and Tesla absolutely did their due diligence on the position. What is positive for me is that he obviously feels that the production ramp up is attainable. Someone with his experience would know right away if it were, and he wouldn't leave his previous position unless he was confident in the Model 3 plan. Seems like good news all around.

Chunky Jr. | 2016年5月15日

It's a huge vote of confidence in Tesla that he would walk away from Audi after all those years and step into that position.

sp_tesla | 2016年5月15日

Hopefully will not be too intimated by CEO genius engineer knowledge & brain power & micro mgt style.

bj | 2016年5月15日

@sp_tesla - true. I've seen many companies where very senior people (CxO, EVP, VP level) leave because the CEO micromanages too much. At the very top levels, people expect to be hired and given the autonomy to do their job. If they succeed, they reap the rewards. If they fail, they know they are accountable and are out the door.

carlk | 2016年5月15日

Elon's reputation automatically filters out A- or lower people who could not face the tough challenge. Believe me that are still quite a few people in the world who thrives on challenges.

Ross1 | 2016年5月16日

Not so sure about the posts above

When you are 'called in' to Tesla, SpaceX , Google and Apple, many people ask many questions but they tell you zilch nil and nothing.

It is not a given 'Peter' knew much about the conditions described above, but as a Tesla fan and believer he may have taken an unknowable risk.

Just how it is.

EVolution | 2016年5月16日

Chance to write hisory

bj | 2016年5月16日

@Ross - really? From what I've observed and been told about executive recruitment, including from CxO people who have been hired by large companies, they ask the employer more questions than the other way around. Particularly if they have been approached by a third party.

In that situation, they hold the cards and the company has to convince them to take the job. The "applicant" wants to know why they should work for that company, what the scope and latitude of their role is, their ability to shape their own team, who their peers will be, the details of the company's strategy and execution plans, their budgets, responsibilities and obligations to the CEO, board and shareholders, etc etc and if they don't get satisfactory answers, they will not be interested. They are not going to waste time when there's plenty of other companies they could work for.

So the likeiihood that Peter Hochholdinger either didn't ask extremely detailed questions of Tesla, or asked and failed to get satisfactory answers, but still took the job, is zero.

Tropopause | 2016年5月16日

Tesla is "hell bent" and on the move! | 2016年5月16日

It's the valley - everyone uses non-disclosures to deal with sensitive information. Doesn't slow anyone down a bit or interfere with the exchange of inside information.

My guess is this hire was a done deal before the Model 3 unveiling and production change. He was likely consulted about the feasibility of increasing the ramp, since he's going to be responsible for a lot of it.

carlk | 2016年5月16日


Absolutely. For a guy who has been overseeing 400,000 car operation and has good seniority and pension plan in a well respected company there is no reason for him to take the risk unless he sees a much greater opportunity and is pretty certain that he could meet the challenge and make a significant contribution. Also like to point out Tesla is no longer the small start up company four years ago when it has only started manufacturing the Model S. It's in a much better position to attract top notch employees and suppliers as well.

carlk | 2016年5月16日


Good point. Likely the reason for those who were moved out of the position is either side has realized the task has becoming too challenging for them to handle. The famous Peter priciple is at work again. This happens all the time in companies, something that include CEO's or even founders when companies have grown too large for their talents to manage. Will never apply to Elon or course.

PhillyGal | 2016年5月16日


Maybe this is why while filling up my ICE today I did a mental calculation that came to only 75 or so more trips to a gas station for the rest of my life. I hope I'm right :)

Ross1 | 2016年5月16日

Tesla would be careful not to tell secrets to an employee of Audi/VW

dsvick | 2016年5月17日

@PhillyGal +1
only 75 or so more trips to a gas station for the rest of my life
I like that way of thinking, I'll have to figure my weekly gas station trips, then take complete WAG at expected M ☰ delivery and start counting down.

topher | 2016年5月22日

"only 75 or so more trips to a gas station for the rest of my life"

Awesome idea. I think I count 25 (not including trips with the gas can).

Thank you kindly.

jeffhre | 2016年5月23日

I think I may be around 50 trips to a gas station, would have been around 5 if I still had the Volt under lease!

PhillyGal | 2016年5月23日

Nice to know others loathe the gas station as much as I do.

Denys | 2016年5月23日

This should reinforce the opinions expressed here:

reuters dot com/article/us-usa-health-filth-idUSTRE79O0G820111025

Drdpharris | 2016年5月23日

Getting back to the reason d'etre of this thread .... anyone know if Mr. Hochholdinger has started work and ordered up any equipment? EM said the design should be finished in 6 weeks from the Q1 call. We need a spy on the inside of Fremont to keep us all apprised :-) Whoo hee.

Badbot | 2016年5月23日

Gramps: When I was your age I worked in a gas station.
Grand Kid: What is a gas station?? | 2016年5月23日

But what if Herr Hochholdinger is secretly still on VW's payroll with the mission to sabotage the M≡ program!
Elon needs to perform a mind meld on the guy.