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October 19, 2020updated 16 Jun 2021 2:16pm

Piech Automotive names ‘leading auto executives’ for launch plan

Piech Automotive, the automotive startup based in Zurich, Switzerland, has named sever top leading executives as it heads towards the launch of a  battery electric, two seat sports car with claimed innovative battery technology and record low charging time.

By Olly Wehring

  • Board-level recruits from Porsche, BMW, and Tesla
  • Series A-funding closed
  • UBS sole advisor on series B to raise launch production capital
  • Prototype construction to begin
  • Under five minute charge time
  • Engineering campus under construction in Memmingen

Piech Automotive, the automotive startup based in Zurich, Switzerland, has named several top leading executives as it heads towards the launch of a  battery electric, two seat sports car with claimed innovative battery technology and record low charging time.

Former Porsche and Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller is chairman and will work closely with company co-founders Toni Piech and Rea Stark “shaping an ambitious product development and corporate strategy”, according to a Piech statement.

Former BMW Motorsport chief engineer Klaus Schmidt remains chief technology officer and is now also one of two CEOs.

Over the past four years, Schmidt has led the creation of the company’s modular vehicle platform which can accommodate multiple body variants and powertrain layouts. He will oversee the management of all technical operations.

Schmidt will work alongside newly appointed CEO and chief marketing officer Andreas Henke who heads brand strategy and marketing, customer relationships, finance and personnel.

Henke joined from premium audio manufacturer Burmester and previously was with Porsche where he held various management positions in strategy, marketing and sales.

Jochen Rudat, who recently joined as head of sales is another recent recruit. A former direct report to Elon Musk, Rudat built Tesla’s European dealer network from scratch and ran the business for 10 years.

Piech said: “Mueller is a hugely capable and highly successful automotive industry leader, and it is immensely gratifying that he is committed to our new approach.”

Stark added: “The dual CEO leadership with Klaus Schmidt and Andreas Henke strengthens our objective of bringing technologically innovative vehicles to the road and completely redefining the brand and the relationship we will develop with our customers.”

Mueller said: “I was immediately enthusiastic about the mission of the two founders, because it is more compelling and more visionary than all the new approaches I have encountered during my work in the automotive industry. I am proud to be involved in the business – it has the potential to herald a new chapter for modern mobility and shape the future of the automobile.”

Piech also announced it had successfully completed its first round of financing which included the entry of investor Peter Thiel. The next funding round, with the goal of securing additional capital to launch production, will be managed over the coming months by financial advisor UBS.

Vehicle design has been finalised and the fledgling automaker company will now commission first prototypes, secure “significant” vehicle development partners and commence construction of and engineering campus in Memmingen, Germany.

Piech Automotive operates on a capital and resource light business model, in both construction and in operation, to help secure future viability.

The company is already a trailblazer, setting new benchmarks for sustainable mobility within the automotive industry.

As the first of three planned vehicle concepts, the two-seat EV sports car will showcase  claimed “revolutionary” battery and charging technology which is said to achieve 80% battery capacity after being charged for just four minutes and 40 seconds, delivering a range of 400km (250 miles) – claimed to be unrivalled currently in the global EV sector.

Maximum range is expected to be 500km (310 miles) (WLTP). The first vehicles will be on sale at the end of 2022.

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