In a move that will surprise many, it was announced that former Lamborghini and current Audi Sport boss Stephen Winkelmann is set to head Bugatti. Winkelmann will replace Wolfgang Dürheimer who remains CEO of Bentley Motors.
Winkelmann joined Audi Sport in March 2016 following a very successful stint at Lamborghini. He is expected to leave that position later this year. Michael-Julius Renz, Audi’s head of sales for China is expected to take up the vacant position. He joins a division with big plans. Winkelmann had expressed a desire to expand Audi Sport to compete with Mercedes-AMG with a string of SUV and a possible hypercar in the works.
There is no official word on what is behind the re-shuffle. Some media outlets are reported that Winkelmann is also in line to take Wolfgang Dürheimer’s position at Bentley, his contract reportedly expires in mid-2019. It is possible that 64 year old Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller is planning to step down in the near future with Dürheimer lining up to take his position. It is also just as possible that Dürheimer plans to step back from Volkswagen Group entirely.
Winkelmann is expected to oversea the development of the Chiron project including possible Chiron Grand Sport and Chiron Super Sport models. Bugatti will likely begin early work on a successor to the Chiron during Winkelmann’s tenure.