Wolfgang D?rheimer retakes the reins at Bentley and BugattiWed, 16 Apr 2014
Wolfgang Dürheimer is still in play, with Bentley Motors announcing that he will return to the Chairman and CEO slot of the English company and French division Bugatti on June 1, 2014. He'll probably remember those chairs from the last time he filled them, since he was promoted to both positions in 2010 and remained there until September 2012, when he was installed as the head of R&D at Audi. That job only lasted until June of 2013, his nine-month tenure reported to be full of corporate drama that lead to his dismissal from the position.
But as if on gardening leave, he's been in the low-profile position of General Representative of the Volkswagen Group responsible for motorsport. Once back at Bentley, he will take over as the company works on getting its SUV to market and expanding its range. Both of those briefs Dürheimer will know well, having proved his ability at Porsche in the first decade of the new millennium. And even though no longer at Audi, his hybrid days don't appear to be over, as Bentley recently announced that it will hybridize of 90 percent of its lineup.
Dürheimer will also take on a third position, joining a VW Group committee focused on the US and Chinese markets. His successor at Bentley and Bugatti, Wolfgang Schreiber, has been promoted to "a leading position within the Volkswagen Group." There's a brief press release below with the official words.
DÜRHEIMER TO HEAD BENTLEY
Wolfgang Dürheimer, General Representative of the Volkswagen Group responsible for motorsport, is to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors Ltd with effect from June 1, 2014. He is to succeed Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, who will take up a leading position within the Volkswagen Group.
"I would like to thank Wolfgang Schreiber for his successful work with Bentley and Bugatti and the consistent further development of the two brands," said Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. Under the leadership of Schreiber, Bentley set new records in terms of deliveries, sales and profit last year. All in all, Bentley delivered 10,120 vehicles, 19 percent more than in 2012. Sales grew by 15.5 percent to €1.68 billion. Profit rose by 66.9 percent to €167.7 million. In the first quarter of 2014, Bentley boosted deliveries by a further 17 percent.
Wolfgang Dürheimer (55) holds a degree in engineering and started his career in 1986 with BMW, where he held various management positions until 1998. In 1999, he joined Porsche AG, where he became Board Member for research and development in 2001. New models and series that significantly strengthened the Porsche brand were created under his leadership. In 2011, he was appointed CEO of Bentley Motors and Bugatti. In September 2012, he became a Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, where he was responsible for technical development. After stepping down from this position, he is to be appointed to the Volkswagen Group committees responsible for the USA and China markets in addition to heading the Bentley and Bugatti brands. In his new functions, he will be contributing the experience he has gained throughout the Group.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber (56) holds a degree in engineering and joined the Volkswagen Group in 1984. From 1996 to 2003, he was head of transmission development of the Volkswagen brand. Products created under his leadership include the DSG transmission. In 2003, he transferred to Bugatti, where he was head of development until 2011. In September 2006, he was also appointed Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles responsible for development; he was Speaker of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles from 2010. Since September 2012, he has successfully managed Bentley Motors as Chairman and CEO and Bugatti as President.
By Jonathon Ramsey
See also: Is Bentley testing a hardcore Continental GT V8?, Bugatti mules could signal Veyron successor in the works, What's up with this Bugatti Veyron spied at the N?rburgring?.