After my article “There Will Be Blood” was published here on CleanTechnica, Peter Mertens, the former Head of R&D at Audi and former Board Member of Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Jaguar Land Rover, and now Board Member of Faurecia, Recogni and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Valens, reached out to me and asked if I am interested in an interview with him.
When Peter left Audi in 2018 for health-related reasons, Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, asked Peter to come back after recovery and offered more than his role as Head of R&D — which, in my personal interpretation, was the path to become a CEO within the Group. Peter decided against it, and instead in favor of the most important thing we have, our health.
I believe that all automotive managers have a story to tell about their version of the truth, and I want to give them a platform to do that. Not all are as free as Peter is, but many certainly would like to be. If you want to hear the truth, you need to go to the source and listen well. Peter is one of those sources who is now telling his truth, and I recorded this interview with him — uncut — to give you all the opportunity to hear it all.
A lot is written in the mainstream media and social media about how the entire industry could keep sleeping with literally open eyes while Tesla overtakes them, hands down. With a production target of just 500,000 vehicles in 2020, which is 5% of that of the Volkswagen Group, Tesla is valued now above $200 billion, and by market capitalization is today the largest automotive company in the world, having more than twice the market cap of Volkswagen.
I never thought anybody would be interested in my modest thoughts, and without having been asked for them, I would never have written a single article. The same is true for interviews in which I am now invited by senior automotive executives, which is a true honor for me.
Despite my articles in which I express my own and often strong opinion, my interviews are different. They are not about painting a positive or negative picture about someone or something by collecting available information, but about making a step from “painting as I imagine reality” to a photo that is nearer to reality.
My interviews are an attempt to search for answers you will not find anywhere else.
Decide yourself if they are useful. Here is my interview with Peter Mertens: