LUXURY car maker Bentley Motors has announced the appointment of a new chairman and chief executive.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, 52, (pictured right) has accepted the influential role and joins the firm from Porsche AG where he was executive vice-president, research and development.
Dürheimer said: ‘I am flattered by the trust put in me by the Volkswagen Group. To take charge of a Company such as Bentley is a significant responsibility.
‘The company has such an illustrious history and the developments made over the past few years have been outstanding. I know I have a lot to learn about the Brand and the people but hope my experience with Porsche will serve me well in a new role and a new country.’
Chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, Professor Dr Martin Winterkorn said: ‘Wolfgang Dürheimer personifies the outstanding technical competency of Porsche. He will bring this expertise and his experience to Bentley and Bugatti, helping them maintain their leading positions within the luxury segment.’
Dürheimer began his career in the motor industry with BMW in 1986, before moving to Porsche in 1999. He was responsible for the 911 product line and, since 2001, Dürheimer has been a member of the board responsible for research, development and product management.
With the appointment, Dürheimer succeeds Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen (pictured right) who will retire after more than eight years, and who has agreed to remain in an advisory capacity to Bentley and as a consultant to the Volkswagen Group.
In his time as chairman, Paefgen has been responsible for Volkswagen Group brands, but his greatest accolade was overseeing the ‘renaissance of Bentley’ with VW’s billion pound investment in both the Crewe factory and its R&D facilities, and a return to Le Mans.
‘It has been a privilege to have been a small part of the story of Bentley’, said Paefgen. ‘During my time here we have had some tremendous successes and inevitably faced some real challenges.
‘However, it is the skill, the commitment and the passion of everyone at Crewe that I will treasure the most. In Wolfgang Dürheimer I am convinced we have an individual with a feel for the both the Brand and what makes Bentleys special. The company is in very capable hands.’
Dürheimer begins his role on 1 February 2011.