A management shakeup in Volkswagen Group’s high-performance divisions will make Stephan Winkelmann (above) the new chief executive of Audi‘s Quattro GmbH on March 15. On the same day, former Scuderia Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali will replace Winkelmann as Lambo’s boss. These changes are necessary because current Quattro chief Heinz Hollerweger is retiring. Rumors of these exact shifts cropped up in Italian media in December.
Winkelmann began leading Lamborghini in 2005, and he has been at the helm for massive growth at the company. In 2015, the Italian supercar maker delivered a record 3,245 vehicles, and it had just set its previous best of 2,530 units in 2014. His new role at Quattro GmbH puts Winkelmann in charge of Audi’s equivalent to M at BMW or AMG at Mercedes-Benz. The division is responsible for the Four Rings’ R and RS production models, the Audi Sport customer racing program, and Audi Exclusive customization service. “In the future, the Audi Sport brand is to be positioned more clearly,” the company’s announcement said, which hints at one of Winkelmann’s duties.
Domenicali has been closely associated with Lamborghini rival Ferrari during his career and had years of experience within the automaker’s racing team. He started in financing at the Prancing Horse in 1991 and moved to business planning for the Scuderia Ferrari F1 squad in 1993. He held many positions there and eventually ascended to the top as team principal in 2008. Domenicali resigned from leadership in 2014 because of the team’s poor performance, but Audi quickly snapped him up as its as Vice President New Business. He now gets the reins of one of Italy’s premiere supercar makers.
Stephan Winkelmann to be new CEO of quattro GmbH
As of March 15, 2016, Stephan Winkelmann (51) will be the new CEO of quattro GmbH, a 100 percent subsidiary of AUDI AG, which produces and distributes the high performance R and RS models. Winkelmann was President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. since January 1, 2005. Heinz Hollerweger (62), the current Head of quattro GmbH, is to retire after almost 40 years of successful work for Audi.
“With his experience from more than eleven years in charge of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann will be a key contributor to the further growth of quattro GmbH,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. quattro GmbH includes the Audi Sport brand with customer motorsport, the development and distribution of the R and RS models, the accessories of the Audi Sport collection and the car‑customizing services of Audi exclusive. In the future, the Audi Sport brand is to be positioned more clearly.
As CEO of Lamborghini, Winkelmann was responsible for substantial investment in the future of the company from 2005 onwards. He developed Lamborghini into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of super sports cars. In 2015, the brand with the raging bull achieved a new record with deliveries of 3,245 units. Lamborghini is also a pioneer in the field of automotive lightweight construction and in the development of innovative carbon‑fiber technologies.
As of 2018, Lamborghini will produce a third model series for the first time, which will be made alongside the Huracán and Aventador models at its site in Sant’Agata Bolognese: a highly sporty SUV. Winkelmann also pushed forward with the expansion of Lamborghini’s sales organization. Under his leadership, the number of Lamborghini dealerships has tripled in the last decade. This year, the brand with the raging bull celebrates the 100th birthday of the company’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini.
In May 2014, Winkelmann was presented by President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano with the Grand Cross, the country’s highest order of merit, for his achievements as CEO of one of the most important Italian companies. Before Winkelmann became CEO of Lamborghini in 2005, he was the Board of Management Chairman of Fiat Auto Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Stephan Winkelmann succeeds to Heinz Hollerweger (62), who will be retiring. “Heinz Hollerweger has been one of the catalysts for Audi’s path into electric mobility,” stated Stefan Knirsch, Board of Management Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “He also contributed decisively to the success and expansion of quattro GmbH.” The Audi subsidiary’s sales increased in 2015 by 13 percent to more than 17,000 units.
Hollerweger also achieved a lot with the development of Audi Sport, which includes the brand’s sporting activities such as customer motorsport under the label of Audi Sport customer racing, the R and RS models, and the accessories of the Audi Sport collection.
Heinz Hollerweger was born in Austria and started his career at Audi in Ingolstadt in the area of acoustics in 1977. Twelve years later, he moved to the Audi site in Neckarsulm as head of acoustics, and returned to Ingolstadt three years afterwards as head of vehicle inspections. From 1997 until 2005, he was responsible for the area of vehicle physics. After that, he was in charge of overall vehicle development. In that position, he was responsible for numerous show cars that later went into series production, such as the Audi Q5 custom concept, predecessor of the successful Audi SQ5.
Furthermore, Hollerweger coordinated the entire test activities of the Technical Development division. During his time as head of overall vehicle development, more than 70 models were developed to series maturity.
Hollerweger has been one of the catalysts of electric mobility. With the R8 e-tron, he and his team designed a sensational electric super sports car for the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011: a powerful sports car with electric drive, the first test vehicle of its kind. It was later developed to series maturity at quattro GmbH.
In April 2014, Hollerweger became Head of quattro GmbH, where his responsibilities included the expansion of the RS portfolio and the development of the new Audi R8. In addition to the “Golden Steering Wheel 2015” in the sports car category and the “Auto Trophy 2015,” the Audi R8 also received numerous awards for its connectivity and is regarded as the benchmark for its segment in this respect. quattro GmbH was also highly successful with the R8 LMS in 2015, winning all of the renowned GT3 races worldwide.
STEFANO DOMENICALI TAKES OVER LEADERSHIP OF AUTOMOBILI LAMBORGHINI
Sant’Agata Bolognese, February 23, 2016 – Stefano Domenicali will become the new President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini on March 15, 2016. He succeeds Stephan Winkelmann, who will take over as CEO of sports Audi affiliate quattro GmbH. “Over the past eleven years Stephan Winkelmann has transformed Lamborghini into a global leader in the manufacture of super sports cars. His successor, who also possesses a wealth of experience in this area, will be continuing this success,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board Management of AUDI AG and Chairman of the Administrative Board of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A..
Stefano Domenicali, born on 11 May 1965 in Imola, graduated in 1991 after studying business administration at the University of Bologna and began his professional career in finance with Ferrari. In 1993 he moved to Scuderia Ferrari, where he took over as Head of Business Planning. He was also director of the Mugello circuit, which belongs to Ferrari. From 1996, Domenicali was responsible for sponsors of Scuderia Ferrari, before becoming sporting director of the Formula 1 team in 1998. From 2004 to 2007 he headed the Direzione Sportiva F1. In 2008 he was Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari F1, which won the Constructors’ World Championship that year. From 2009 to 2014 Domenicali represented Ferrari in the F.I.A World Motor Sport Council and still belongs to that body today. He is currently president of the F.I.A. Single Seater Commission.
He has been Vice President New Business Initiatives at AUDI AG since November 2014. In 2002 he received the order of merit of the Italian Republic, the Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. Stefano Domenicali says: “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.”
Stephan Winkelmann comments: “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. 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.”
Winkelmann was born in Berlin on 18 October 1964 and grew up in Rome. He held a variety of senior positions in the Fiat Group heading up operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland before being appointed President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini in 2005. Between 2004 and 2015 the sales figures at Lamborghini more than doubled, and the turnover more than tripled. The dealer network has also tripled in size and now encompasses 135 dealers in 50 countries. During this time the number of employees, today 1,300, practically doubled. Models introduced under Winkelmann, starting with derivatives of the Gallardo and ranging through to the V10 Huracán and V12 Aventador as well as limited editions and one-offs, set numerous new sales records. In 2015 the third model line was announced, the luxury SUV “Urus”, to be constructed in Sant’Agata Bolognese starting from 2018, and marking the beginning of a new era for the company.
Raising the profile of the brand was another focus under Winkelmann’s leadership, with numerous successful initiatives launched. These included motor sports activities, encompassing the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo single-make series, the GT3 championship, and the instructional driving courses Accademia and Esperienza, but also the establishment of the fashion line Collezione Automobili Lamborghini.
Winkelmann’s strategy was also aimed at taking care of ethical corporate responsibilities such as sustainable development of business and society while always keeping ecological issues in mind. In 2015, the CO2-neutral manufacturing certification for the entire Lamborghini factory at the historic Sant’Agata Bolognese location, became the most recent success of this strategy’s implementation.
Under Winkelmann’s leadership Lamborghini became an increasingly attractive employer and received numerous awards, one of these being the Top Employer Italia 2016 certification. These results are in part due to the participative model under which constant dialog and collaboration form the basis for relations with the trade unions. In May 2014 President Giorgio Napolitano recognized Winkelmann with the title of Knight Grand Cross, the highest-ranking honor in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, for his service as the CEO of one of the most significant Italian companies.