Audi’s quattro GmbH division, responsible for Audi Sport racing, plus the Audi R8 and RS models, will soon be run by charismatic Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann.
Meantime, Lamborghini will in turn be run by former Scuderia Ferrari (Formula One) team principal Stefano Domenicali. An ex-Ferrari executive taking over at Lambo? Now that’s interesting.
The changeovers will occur simultaneously on March 15.
Berlin-born but Rome-raised Winkelmann, 51, will lead the way as Audi AG’s 100 per cent in-house sports division seeks continued global growth. It will also “be positioned more clearly” in future, likely in such a way as to better rival the likes of the recently rebranded Mercedes-AMG.
Winkelmann, a recipient of Italy’s Grand Cross, the country’s highest order of merit, is known as one of the car business’s more charismatic leaders. He replaces the outgoing head of quattro GmbH, Heinz Hollerweger, who is retiring aged 62.
Filling Winkelmann’s seat as president and CEO of Lamborghini, meanwhile, is Domenicali, 50, who after his 23-year Ferrari tenure more recently served as vice-president of new business initiatives at Audi AG.
The move marks another case of managerial musical chairs within Volkswagen Group. Audi AG oversees Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A within the VW AG framework, as evidenced by the shared architectures of the R8 and Huracan supercars.
Both Winkelmann and Domenicali will report to Audi AG chairman Rupert Stadler in their new roles — presumably the same person each was already reporting to.
Pictured: Stephan Winkelmann.
Both men are taking over these companies at strong times. quattro GmbH sold a record 17,000 cars in 2015 and has exciting new product such as the R8 e-tron electric supercar, while Lamborghini did a record 3245 units and is gearing up for the brand new 'Urus' SUV in 2018.
Stephan Winkelmann said: "I have been responsible for Lamborghini for a significant period of time in its history, and in the process have always aimed to use the brand's potential to achieve very ambitious goals.
“Lamborghini's key corporate data displays continual, profitable growth with a focus on the development of new products, new processes, and many other corporate sectors.
Pictured: Stefano Domenicali.
"Together with my colleagues from the Board of Directors, I was able to facilitate successful initial release of our third model series being launched in 2018. These successes would not have been possible without the passion, skill, creativity, and courage that are ingrained in the Lamborghini DNA and in our employees.
“I would like to thank everyone for this time from the bottom of my heart."
Stefano Domenicali said: "I am very excited to be taking on the challenges of this great legacy. It is now my duty to continue the successes that my predecessor Stephan Winkelmann achieved for Automobili Lamborghini."