Audi and Capgemini form technology consulting venture XL2

04 June 2020 Consultancy.eu

German automotive giant Audi has formed a technology consulting venture with Capgemini, in a bid to help Audi and later on the entire Volkswagen Group with accelerating its digital transformation efforts. 

With over 10 million new vehicles sold last year across its Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and flagship Volkswagen brands, Volkswagen Group is the world’s largest car manufacturer.

Facing an increasingly competitive landscape, digital transformation has become a top priority for the automotive industry – a feat that only has been exacerbated by the current Covid-19-induced downturn. As part of its own digital agenda, Berlin-headquartered Volkswagen has decided to extend and deepen its collaboration with one of its most trusted IT partners: Capgemini.

In a statement issued, Volkswagen Group confirmed that “Capgemini and Audi have a long-standing partnership in developing solutions for digital transformation and co-innovation” and that the new co-owned company “strengthens this collaboration and takes the partnership to a new level.”

Audi and Capgemini form technology consulting venture XL2

The new unit, branded as XL2, is geared predominantly at technology and consultancy services on the SAP platform. Volkswagen and Audi both run most of the enterprise architecture on SAP, as well as a number of other group brands, and XL2 will help internal departments with rolling out new SAP functionalities, enhancing their business processes and driving tech-led innovation.

Standalone business XL2 will initially work for Audi across its manufacturing lifecycle, including production planning, logistics, finance, maintenance, quality and materials management. The first focus areas are SAP projects for production and master data management, as well as development of cloud-based applications, said Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at Audi. 

On why the firm picked Capgemini for the joint venture, Loydl said: “Our long-term relationship with Capgemini and its proven capabilities in the automotive and SAP sectors makes it the right partner.”

XL2 is led by by Géraldine Aubert, previously Vice President of Packaged Based Services at Capgemini, and Felix Spitznagel, previously Director SAP Acceleration Center at Audi. The start-up IT consultancy, based in Heilbronn in close proximity to Audi’s German production site in Neckarsulm, aims to build a “powerful workforce” within the next five years. 

History repeating?

The move shows close resemblance to early days of Porsche Consulting, another consulting brand that sits under Volkswagen’s umbrella. The firm launched in 1994 as a small internal consulting group to the iconic car brand, but following years of strong growth the unit expanded its remit to also serve external clients. Today, Porsche Consulting employs more than 670 professionals across six offices.