Published on November 20th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin


Stephan Winkelmann Returns As Head Of Lamborghini

The old boss returns to Lamborghini while retaining his position as the head of Bugatti too. 

In a year where nearly the whole world was told to stay put, there has certainly been a lot of high profile movement at the top of the automotive industry. The most recent of which is the recent return of Stephan Winkelmann to the top job at Lamborghini.

Effective December 1st 2020, Stephan Winkelmann once again returns to becoming the President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. Taking over from the current man at the helm of the company, Stefano Domenicali, who has since left to replace Chase Carey as the CEO of Formula 1 beginning next year. 

To those who are unfamiliar with this highly charismatic German auto exec, Stephan Winkelmann widely credited to be the man who oversaw the renaissance of the Italian supercar marque to what it is today. The man who took the raging bull by the horns from 2005 to 2016, he was responsible for the development of the V10 Huracan and the V12 Aventador. Not to mention the various iterations of Gallardo that came before, and the Urus Super SUV which came after. 

Lamborghini Urus 2019

During his time in charge, Lamborghini has also introduced a multitude of special editions for the road. Setting the stage for explosive growth of limited run supercars that flood the premium market these days. Out on track too, he has overseen the return of the raging bull in motorsports, securing multiple victories in various motorsports events over the years. 

In March 2016 however, Stephan Winkelmann left the Italian supercar marque to take up a position as the head of Audi Sport, formerly known as Quattro. After a short two year stint there, 2018 saw him once again pack up and move to another position within the wider Volkswagen Audi Group, this time as becoming the president of Bugatti. A role and responsibility he will still retain moving forward, even as he takes the top job at Lamborghini. 

While a steady hand at the helm like Mr. Winkelmann’s is welcome at both these boutique marques, the bigger question now persists as to how long both these premium brands will remain within the larger Volkswagen umbrella. Especially if the rumours that are growing louder each day surrounding the future of both these brands were to be believed, Mr. Winkelmann might yet be set to move to another job in the very near future. Till then however, the future of Bugatti and Lamborghini look to be brighter than ever before. 

PRESS RELEASE: Stephan Winkelmann will become the new President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. effective 1 December 2020. He succeeds Stefano Domenicali, who will take over as CEO of Formula 1 starting from 2021. Winkelmann will also remain president of Bugatti.

Stephan Winkelmann was President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini from 2005 to 2016, during which time he transformed Lamborghini into a global leader in the manufacture of super sports cars. Prior to first joining Lamborghini Winkelmann held a variety of senior positions in the Fiat Group.

Lamborghini models introduced under Winkelmann started with derivatives of the Gallardo and ranged through introductions of the V10 Huracán and V12 Aventador as well as limited editions and one-offs, setting numerous new sales records. In 2015 the third model line was announced, the Super SUV Urus, to be constructed in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and marking the beginning of a new era for the company.

In March 2016 Winkelmann became CEO of Quattro GmbH (today Audi Sport GmbH) before joining Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. as president at the beginning of 2018.

“Stephan Winkelmann has decisively shaped the history of Lamborghini,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “No one else stands more clearly for the Lamborghini brand, and he is exactly the right person to lead this unique brand into a successful future.”

“In the name of the whole management board of AUDI AG, I would like to thank Stefano Domenicali for his superb achievements and his dedication to Lamborghini. In the past four years he has shaped the transformation of the brand and pushed it ahead,” says Markus Duesmann. “We wish him every success in his new role as CEO of Formula 1.”

Stephan Winkelmann comments: “It is a great honor and pleasure for me to lead these two unique companies with their extraordinary automobiles. I am looking forward to the new challenge. Bugatti stands for the best, most powerful, elegant and luxurious hyper sports cars in the world. Lamborghini is the iconic expression of the most exclusive super sports cars demonstrating outstanding design and innovation. Our creativity in both companies is by no means finished and the world is assured some surprises.”

Stefano Domenicali since joining Lamborghini in 2016, has continued the process of Lamborghini’s transformation, with the introduction of the Super Urus SUV in 2018 and a significant growth of the brand on the world stage. In the last four years under his management, the production site in Sant’Agata Bolognese has doubled; more than 700 employees have been hired and the brand has achieved awareness levels unprecedented in the company’s history. The growth in global sales was even more remarkable, with 8,205 units delivered to customers in 2019 marking a doubling of volumes in comparison to the period before Urus introduction: sales records were achieved in all three principal market areas of the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific, with a turnover of 1.81 billion Euros in 2019.

Stefano Domenicali comments: “I will take over a new professional challenge in the knowledge that I have experienced an extraordinary organisation and exceptional colleagues: I am very attached to the women and men of Lamborghini. Together we achieved incredible goals, breaking record after record. I leave at a high point for the company, knowing that the solid long-term strategy put in place assures a continued bright future for the brand. I thank Audi and the Volkswagen Group for their continued support during these years of collaboration. Automobili Lamborghini was an exceptional experience for me, both personally and professionally. It has been a true privilege and I wish Stephan Winkelmann great success in leading this fantastic brand.”

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Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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