Lamborghini’s current CEO Stephan Winkelmann will step down from the Italian performance brand next month to take up a new role as head of Quattro, the performance division of Lamborghini’s parent company Audi. Replacing Winkelmann will be Stefano Domenicali who is most famous for running the Ferrari [NYSE:RACE] Formula One team from the end of the 2007 season until midway through the 2014 season. Domenicali will start his new role at Lamborghini on March 15, 2016.
Winkelmann has led Lamborghini for the past 11 years and has been influential in transforming it from a cottage industry to a high-tech, luxury powerhouse. Lamborghini is enjoying its best sales in its entire history and is just a couple of years away from significantly lifting volumes with the Urus SUV.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann and the 2012 Urus SUV concept
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During Winkelmann’s reign, 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.
The reason behind the shakeup isn’t clear at this point but with Domenicali’s history it may point towards an expanded motorsport program at Lamborghini. A less likely scenario could be the Volkswagen Group getting ready to spinoff the brand in an effort to raise funds in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal.