He'll now be CEO of two ultra-exclusive brands.
Internal changes are abound at the Volkswagen Group these days, such as the recent reports regarding the potential sale or spin-off of the Lamborghini brand. However, a new report from Automotive News could indicate a spin-off, rather than an outright sale, is planned. Stephan Winkelmann, currently CEO of Bugatti for the past three years, will be returning to Lamborghini as soon as December 1, 2020. He will supposedly have a dual role leading both ultra-high performance brands.
Lamborghini's current CEO Stefano Domenicali has accepted a new role as the CEO of Formula 1, a job he'll begin on January 1, 2021. The future of the Lamborghini and Bugatti brands remains a bit hazy at the moment.
It has officially been announced that Stephan Winkelmann will indeed be taking the dual role as CEO of both Bugatti and Lamborghini. "It is both a great honor and pleasure, but also a great challenge for me to manage these two companies, which are very special to me with their exceptional cars," says Winkelmann. "I have had the privilege to manage both companies separately in recent years, and I can now do this for both together. This is something very close to my heart."
Chances are, Lamborghini will be spun-off Ferrari style while Croatia's Rimac Automobili could take a majority stake in Bugatti; VW Group would still maintain a financial interest in both automakers but would not oversee day-to-day control. That will be Winkelmann's job.
Winkelmann's first tenure heading Lamborghini, from 2005 until 2016, was highly successful as he turned a relatively low-volume brand into a major player on the supercar scene. Lamborghini was already famous but lacked the volume of its chief Italian rival Ferrari. It was under Winkelmann's watch when the Gallardo became the best-selling Lamborghini of all time.
The groundwork for the Lamborghini Urus SUV was laid by Winkelmann as well its beginning when the concept version debuted in 2012. The Italian supercar brand remains in the news with the reveal of a new hardcore Huracan STO, supposedly a street-legal lightweight version of the Huracan Super Trofeo Evo race car. A regular Lamborghini Huracan assigned to the Italian state police also just received some publicity following its 300-mile dash from Rome to Padua, Italy in order to deliver a kidney to a transplant patient.