Peter Hochholdinger, a long time Audi executive had switched ranks and gone to Tesla, where he is now the Vice President of vehicle production. He comes in to fill a vital position at Tesla, at a time when the company is thinking of going into overdrive with its productions. The company is planning to mass produce the new Model 3 and also has a new Model S Sedan in its sights.
Tesla saw the departure of two executives earlier this year, and the move to catch Hochholdinger is seen as a move to replace the two. He will replace Greg Reichow, who was in charge of the Model S and Model X production. Unfortunately, Reichow’s plan to leave was leaked well before his departure date and before the company’s quarterly earnings call which led them to classify it as natural leave.
A spokesperson at the time wrote that the departure was in no way due to the recall of the Model X cars or any of the production delays that were plaguing the company. The company was late in its Model X delivery, which only started in September last year and even after then, they had to recall some of the cars because of a fault in the third-row seats. Reliability issues with the car have also been reported by numerous car owners.
This leaves Hochholdinger with big shoes to fill. A huge task lies ahead for him. An increase in the Model X and Model S production is required, and the most important of all which is the setting up of a production chain entirely for the Model 3 version. Model 3 is the company’s most important car at the moment.
Peter Hochholdinger is up to the task though if past experience is anything to go by. He is a 22 year veteran at Volkswagen affiliate Audi. He worked across the entire production chain and is credited with the production of Audi A4, A5, and the Q5. He was responsible for the manufacture of 400,000 cars annually at the company. He was also an advisor as Audi tried to bring an online service in Mexico.
The issue, however, is if Hochholdinger can adapt and adjust to demands at Tesla. Over the past few months, a host of Tesla executives has left the company. Josh Ensign, Vice President of manufacturing, James Chen, Vice President of regulatory affairs, and Ricardo Reyes, Vice President of global communications have all left.
The departure of Reichow presented the company with an opportunity to hire someone with experience in the vacated position. Reichow had no experience in the auto industry something which Tesla has always done since they mostly hire their employees from the energy and tech industries. Before Tesla, Reichow was a Vice President of operation at Sun Power according to his LinkedIn profile. He also worked at CyPress Semiconductor.