Post-Dieselgate fiasco, several management re-structuring activities are taking place at Volkswagen Audi Group, especially within the premium or sub brands. Stephan Winkelmann, 52, who has led Audi’s performance-car division since March 2016 has been chosen to replace 59-year-old Wolfgang Durheimer at Bugatti. However, Durheimer will remain chairman of Bentley for the foreseeable future. Winkelmann, former CEO of Lamborghini was drafted by the group to revitalise the performance wing of Audi. During his relatively short tenure he was able to rebrand Audi Quattro as Audi Sport and helped introduce a slew of new models including the launch of R8 Spyder. Winkleman also has supervised development of the upcoming rear-wheel-drive R8 and RS4 Avant.
Meanwhile, Audi has tapped Michael-Julius Renz who looks after China sales to replace Winkelmann as CEO at Audi Sport. Durheimer has had two stints as chairman of Bentley. The first was between 2010 and 2012. It is not clear as of now where Durheimer will end up eventually in the organisation. Durheimer, a former R&D development executive at Porsche was appointed to a similar position at Audi in 2012. However, clashes with former VW Chairman Martin Winterkorn over the direction of a number of electric-car projects saw him return to Bentley in 2013 after just nine months as R&D chief at Audi.
Winkelmann’s job description at Bugatti will include the development and launch of further derivatives of the Chiron, including the much rumoured Chiron Grand Sport and Chiron Super Sport.