Former Audi technical boss Wolfgang Dürheimer succeeds Dr Wolfgang Schreiber as chairman and CEO of Bentley

The Volkswagen Group's motorsport representative, Wolfgang Dürheimer, will become the chairman and chief executive of Bentley from 1 June 2014.

Dürheimer, who has previously worked at Porsche and Bugatti, succeeds Dr Wolfgang Schreiber – who himself is stated to be due to "take up a leading position within the Volkswagen Group".

Among Dürheimer’s key roles at Porsche was leading the engineering the first and second generations of the Porsche Cayenne. This experience – coupled with Bentley’s decision to add an SUV to its line-up – is said to be the motivating factor behind the move. Volkswagen boss, Martin Winterkorn, took the decision to return Dürheimer to the leading position at Bentley. 

Dürheimer’s primary tasks at Bentley will be to oversee the engineering of a new generation of models, including the company’s recently announced SUV.

The new Bentley SUV is planned to share its platform and key elements with the third-generation Cayenne due out in 2017.

He will manage the introduction of a new generation of drivelines too, including new diesel and petrol-electric hybrid units.

In his new position, Dürheimer will also oversee operations at Bugatti. Additionally, he has also been appointed to an in-house Volkswagen committee responsible for the North American and Chinese markets.

In 1986 Dürheimer joined BMW, holding various management positions until he joined Porsche in 1999. Later, following the creation of new models that revived the Porsche brand, he was appointed CEO of Bentley and Bugatti.

During 2012 he was appointed to the board of Audi as head of technical development but was eventually replaced by the VW brand's head of development, Ulrich Hackenberg. It was reported, at the time, that Dürheimer "couldn't cope with the complexity of the Audi brand".

Bentley expanded considerably in 2013, with deliveries up 19 per cent to 10,120 vehicles and sales up 15.5 per cent to £1.39 billion. The company's profit also improved considerably, by a substantial 66.9 per cent to £138.6 million.

Deliveries have continued to climb in the first quarter of 2014, by 17 per cent, thanks to the introduction of new models, including the Flying Spur and the high-performance S variants of the GT and GTC.

Additional reporting by Greg Kable, 15 April 2014

Join the debate

Comments
1

15 April 2014
Poor old Wolfgang, rusticated to Crewe and humiliated by his employer. But if he didn't like Audi then why would Bentley be any different? They're both selling tarted-up Volkswagens.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK