Powering transformation from within

Audi is systematically pressing ahead with the switch to electric mobility and meeting the challenges of transformation head on with reliably flexible structures and with adherence to its culture and its values.

03/16/2023 Reading Time: 4 min

Daniel Mayer, plant operator in battery assembly, Ingolstadt, AUDI AG
Daniel Mayer, plant operator in battery assembly, Ingolstadt, AUDI AG

By 2023, production of the last internal combustion engines will have been phased out. Employees from all divisions – from Development to Procurement through to Production – strive every day to ensure the successful transformation to electric mobility. Not only does this involve challenges, it also offers opportunities. To take advantage of these, Audi has developed intensive training and development programs to optimally prepare its workforce and is thus counteracting the shortage of skilled labor simultaneously. A glance at the career progression of plant operator Daniel Mayer and the establishment of the battery assembly facility in Ingolstadt shows how well this is working.

In the Ingolstadt factory hall, myriads of orange-colored robot arms operate in six line sections to assemble the high-voltage batteries for the next generation of Audi electric vehicles based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE). “The assembly is highly complex technically, but actually quite easy to explain. There’s a tray including cooling system in which we mount the high-voltage battery system with its individual modules and connections onto a heat dissipation paste. We then glue-down the lid and install a control unit as the interface to the vehicle. And before the battery is then finally ready, there are a number of safety tests to carry out,” explains Daniel Mayer.

Driving innovation through initiative

The qualified electromechanical engineer began his career at Audi as a production specialist in pre-assembly for the rear axle of the Audi A5. This is an area with established processes and a wealth of experience. With the electrification of mobility, however, not only are the vehicles changing, but also proven production processes. Daniel Mayer was quick to recognize that this would open up new professional opportunities: “The future of mobility is electric: I therefore decided to take a sabbatical in 2018 and completed my training as a master electrician during that time.”

He wanted to apply his newly acquired skills to the electrification of Audi and seized the opportunity in 2020. As part of a basic unit with around 20 Audi employees, he familiarized himself with the subject so that he could play his part in developing the new battery assembly facility in Ingolstadt. Two years later, Daniel Mayer is now responsible for two assembly line sections. He checks every work step, knows every movement of his robots precisely and documents any noticeable problems in order to ensure a smooth start to series production.

He learned about the special requirements of manufacturing high-voltage batteries during the course of various training programs, including at the Audi Akademie. He acquired technical and theoretical knowledge, such as safety rules for working with high voltage, off the job in courses and lectures. “But on-the-job learning was more to my liking,” laughs Daniel Mayer. For this, he enjoyed lively exchanges with experts at the battery competence center in Neckarsulm and the battery testing center in Gaimersheim. From foundational research on battery cells to development of prototypes and new manufacturing technology through to service life test rigs and prototype assembly of high-voltage rechargeable batteries – the experts are the source of electrical expertise at Audi and share their knowledge in the Group.

“That was real pioneering work.”

Dennis Christian Meinen, Strategie Nachhaltigkeit / Circular Economy

“That was real pioneering work.”

Daniel Mayer, plant operator in battery assembly, Ingolstadt, AUDI AG

Dennis Christian Meinen, Strategie Nachhaltigkeit / Circular Economy

No future without vision

Several hundred batteries for the Audi Q6 e-tron family will leave the assembly line per shift following the start of production in the second half of 2023. “For us the battery is the heart of the car,” explains Philipp Heizmann, who heads up battery assembly in Ingolstadt. Some technologies at the plant are being used for the first time at Audi. Applying them in series production was an exciting process. Or, as Daniel Mayer puts it: “That was real pioneering work.”

“Transformation is driven by motivation – and motivation is high in the workforce!”

Philipp Heizmann, Head of Battery Assembly, Ingolstadt, AUDI AG

A team of specially selected employees are currently working in battery assembly in Ingolstadt. “Transformation is driven by motivation – and motivation is high in the workforce,” says Heizmann. “When we began to set up the facility, we were faced with an empty hall and had to first define the basic principles. That was a major challenge,” he recalls. Support came and continues to come from the first Audi battery assembly facility in Brussels, which provided experience and know-how from the outset. For example, process planning engineers who helped set up the assembly in Brussels are now actively involved in Ingolstadt. Meanwhile, synergies within the Volkswagen Group are also being utilized. Colleagues from Volkswagen, Škoda, Audi Ingolstadt and Audi Brussels meet regularly: “We swap ideas regularly both within our brand group and in the Group – the world of high-voltage batteries is well networked in this respect,” concludes Philipp Heizmann.

Recruitment of staff is now the next step. A workforce of 300 Audi employees is planned by the end of 2023 to support the mobility transformation in Ingolstadt. To this end, people are specifically being sought from within the company’s own ranks who can then be trained specially for battery assembly. Interest in the cutting-edge jobs is high: “Everyone working here brings a special mindset. These are people who want to play a part and help shape the future of mobility,” enthuses Philipp Heizmann.

Training at Audi

More details

Illustration of the idea of electromobility

Developing and nurturing competences: the transformation calls for new key skills. The Audi Akademie pools all training activities at Audi – from vocational training to advanced training and competence development – and thus helps to secure Audi’s competence lead in collaboration with the various departments.


Number of advanced training events*


Number of training hours*


Of which participation in training measures*: around 16,000, Of which with a focus on digitalization: around 7,000

*AUDI AG Germany (excluding Web Based Trainings (WBTs), including training centers). All figures refer to 2022.

*AUDI AG Germany (excluding Web Based Trainings (WBTs), including training centers). All figures refer to 2022.

Together for innovation

Experts from the area of battery production, the Audi Akademie, battery assembly in Brussels, the battery testing center in Gaimersheim and the battery competence center in Neckarsulm work closely together to develop tailor-made training paths for employees like Daniel Mayer. Since 2021, some 200 employees are being trained, or have already completed their training, for the ramp-up of production of the Q6 e-tron family. A further 1,200 employees will be trained or retrained by the end of 2023.

“This is a rolling process. We continue to refine our training paths in order to continually improve our efficiency and adapt them to changing requirements on an ongoing basis,” explains Benedikt Meier, who acts as the interface between production and the Audi Akademie in his role as coordinator and responsible qualified electrician.

In addition to a range of different development and retraining measures, Audi is also expanding its electric expertise within the Group continually with cutting-edge apprenticeship vocations and work-study degree programs. These include, for example, work-study degree programs in robotics, electrical and information technology and artificial intelligence as well as apprenticeships as an automotive mechatronics technician specializing in systems engineering and high-voltage technology or an IT specialist for application development.

A bright future together

Switching a vehicle manufacturer whose focus is internal combustion engines to electric mobility in just a few years is a major accomplishment. Technically, structurally and culturally. Tamara Staniszewski knows that only too well. She is a training consultant and expert in preparing Audi employees to take on higher-level or different tasks. “People who already work for us are extremely valuable – they know our systems, our processes, our culture,” she says. This eliminates the need for extensive induction training and means that we can make time savings of a good six months per capita compared with hiring an external skilled employee.  Together with Strategic HR Planning, she knows precisely which job clusters need to be transformed in the course of electrification in order to address the needs of the employees from these areas.

Helping to set up the first Audi battery production facility in Germany – being part of it – that is an experience I will never forget.”

– Daniel Mayer, plant operator in battery assembly, Ingolstadt, AUDI AG

This culture of open dialog in the company and the motivation of the Audi employees are what make electrification in the Group possible. “Helping to set up the first Audi battery production facility in Germany – being part of it – that is an experience I will never forget,” sums up Daniel Mayer.

The transformation of the automotive industry brings enormous challenges – but likewise major opportunities for the future. Audi is actively helping to shape this change. Equipped with decades of experience and strengthened by highly motivated and strategically trained Audi employees, the Group will not only make the switch to electric mobility, it will master it superbly, too. 

Audi Report 2023

Annual and sustainability report

Audi Report 2023

Welcome to the Audi Report 2023! The combined annual and sustainability report of Audi brings together the topics of strategy, finance as well as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

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Audi Q6 e-tron quattro: electric power consumption (combined): 19.6–17.0 kWh/100 km; CO₂ emissions (combined): 0 g/km; CO₂ class: A

Audi Q6 e-tron quattro: electric power consumption (combined): 19.6–17.0 kWh/100 km; CO₂ emissions (combined): 0 g/km; CO₂ class: A


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