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Stefano Domenicali Leaves Lamborghini To Join Formula 1 As The New CEO

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I wonder who's replacing him...

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After leading Lamborghini for approximately four and a half years, Stefano Domenicali is reportedly leaving his position to become Formula 1’s new CEO.

It is unclear who will fill his shoes as the CEO and President of the Italian exotic car brand, as Formula 1 hasn’t announced Domenicali’s appointment yet.

However, Domenicali’s move to F1 has been reportedly confirmed by “senior sources” to BBC. Domenicali is expected to grab the reins of F1 before the start of next season from Chase Carey, who has held this position from January 2017, on behalf of Liberty Media.

Read Also: Lamborghini Sold Nearly 5,000 Urus SUVs Last Year, Boosting Total Volume By 43 Percent

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Before signing with Audi in 2014 and being named at the helm of Lamborghini in 2016, replacing Stephan Winkelmann, Domenicali used to lead Ferrari’s F1 team. Thus, if he indeed returns to the sport, then he would join other ex-Ferrari bosses, like the FIA President Jean Todt, who was the Prancing Horse’s sporting director, and Ross Brown, ex-chief of design.

Born in Imola in 1965, Domenicali used to help out at the paddocks of the local racetrack and in the media center as a child. He graduated from the University of Bologna in 1991, and shortly after, he joined Ferrari in the finance department. From 1992 to 1994, he was involved in motorsport, as the race director at Mugello, and in 1995, he was appointed the chief of personnel in the sporting department, where he remained until 2001 when, after being named logistics manager, he became the sporting director. In 2007, he was appointed the director of Ferrari’s F1 team, and one year later, he was named team principal.

 

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Well that was rather sudden.  Isn't timing terrible--hope they are well underway in finalizing the replacement V12.

On a related note, Bugatti reported being sold to Rimac conglomerate--where does Winkelmann go? I doubt back to Lambo but is all this shakeup in VAG worrisome? What are the risks (if any) to Lamborghini?

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I can see  Winkelmann coming back, if Bugatti gets sold. Stefano was great as a CEO and good luck to him in his next venture. 

 

Look on the bright side, Lamborghini is in safe hands and financially well, compared to say Aston Martin and McLaren. At the moment, Lamborghini is also outselling Ferrari (Ferrari sales have fallen hard since the whole Corona thing started and they aren't picking up any time soon.). 

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Winklemann did a great job, Dominecali took a leaf out of the Ferrari playbook ramped up all the option prices and oversupplied without the ferrari buy back and market control which has well and truly screwed Lambo prices by comparison 

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4 hours ago, DoctaM3 said:

Well that was rather sudden.  Isn't timing terrible--hope they are well underway in finalizing the replacement V12.

On a related note, Bugatti reported being sold to Rimac conglomerate--where does Winkelmann go? I doubt back to Lambo but is all this shakeup in VAG worrisome? What are the risks (if any) to Lamborghini?

I remember there was an article last year regarding infighting between Lambo suits and VW suits about the direction the replacement should head. I wonder if the VW suits won the battle andDomenicali decided to jump ship.

Rumour has it Winklemann is gone after the zero emissions track only Vision Le Mans which is been unveiled next month. It's also rumoured VW  has been looking for buyers for Lamborghini but because of the uncertainly in the automotive world due to COVID plans are on hold.

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Winkelmann turned Lamborghini around and made it profitable.  But he also watered-down the brand by making a plethora of so-called limited editions out of the same model.

Domenicali had little choice but to continue with that game in order to keep Lamborghini afloat.  Domenicali literally mimicked the Ferrari FXX program with the introduction of the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12.  It makes business sense but it also violated Ferruccio's way as he never wanted his cars to participate in any race.  One thing that Domenicali did which Winkelmann clearly avoided was to reach out to the "old guards" like Dallara, Stanzani, Gandini and, of course, Balboni.  That was very amicable of Domenicali (especially now that Stanzani had passed).  Winkelmann wanted to be the one and only Mr. Lamborghini which explained why Balboni parted ways with Lamborghini SpA during Winkelmann's reign.

A bit OT but here's a true story as it was a personal experience.  Winkelmann wasn't too well-liked by the staffs of Lamborghini SpA.  Across from the factory is a restaurant that was actually founded one year earlier than the Lamborghini factory itself.  Many of the higher-ranking Lamborghini staffs dine there; so much so that there is actually a "Lamborghini Room" within the restaurant.  The section is adorned with all kinds of Lamborghini memorabilia and have numerous photos of all the important events, milestones and important personnel.  I was very fortunate to be invited to dine there with one of the directors along with Mr. Balboni.  So I was looking around enjoying all the ornaments and photos.  Then I noticed there was a photo placed on the floor at the far corner of the room and obviously that area was rather deserted (all the other pics were hung on the walls).  That photo was Winkelmann doing his classic post (standing cross-armed in his signature tight-fitting suit) beside a Murcielago.  I joked and asked how come Winkelmann's pic is there.  Balboni just rolled his eyes and the director chuckled and said, "I think you already knew why." :lol2:  So perhaps it might not be a good move for Winkelmann to make his return to Lamborghini. :lol: 

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3 hours ago, VCR said:

Well, it’s official.  Lamborghini’s own Unica app had posted Domenicali’s departure.  No word on his replacement though.

Posted on Lamborghini.com, it's almost like they were forced to post something about him leaving lol.

Quote

 

Stefano Domenicali will leave his position as the Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini to take on a new and prestigious professional role in January 2021.

Stefano Domenicali joined the super sports car company in 2016 and since then he has led Lamborghini through a crucial period of exceptional transformation, with the introduction of the Urus, more than 700 new hirings, a doubling of global sales and a significant growth of brand awareness on the world stage.

 

 

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Doubt there will any replacement other than maybe Oliver Blume (CEO of Porsche), looking at this story:

https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/vw-said-overhaul-supercar-strategy-putting-lamborghini-bugatti-focus

seems to be renewed interest in divesting of Lamborghini by VW

There is no new street legal V12, several times Euro7 regulations (due out end of 2021) have been mentioned by  Reggiani will pretty much make it impossible without GPFs and hybrid, and VW is probably not going to pour money into Lamborghini new V12 engine platform development in light of a substantial decrease in the possible marketshare.  Especially considering they cannot make use of such an engine any other product made by VW, and due to potentially super aggressive Euro 7 rules (which China will follow) including potential regulations of fumes that are currently not regulated at all may limit production that would reduce the expectations to recoup its development costs...

Domenicali left for a reason, he got a  job with a better future, who wants to be the CEO of a company that is either shutdown or sold off (first job that is cut is the CEO if sold...) he wanted to go out on his terms...

 

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My feeling is VW will sell off Lamborghini to a sovereign wealth fund but still have an agreement for part sharing. Outside of a fund I can't see any mainstream manufacturer coming in and trying to buy Lamborghini, maybe a Chinese automotive brand?

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6 hours ago, APB said:

How many companies have the kind of coin right now to leverage a purchase like that? I heard Rimac may buy/merge with Bugatti, which could be interesting. I very curious to see how the brand evolves, or if it's the end of the trail...

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2 hours ago, Destructo said:

How many companies have the kind of coin right now to leverage a purchase like that? I heard Rimac may buy/merge with Bugatti, which could be interesting. I very curious to see how the brand evolves, or if it's the end of the trail...

Rimac deal is to increase VW's share in Rimac. It also gives Rimac a golden opportunity to showcase their EV tech under the Bugatti name plate. It's a win win situation for Mate Rimac who's still a majority owner.

I think Lambobrghini will be sold as a partnership because there's not many mainstream manufacturers in the current climate looking to splurge on a brand that caters to a very niche market. I personally think VW dumping Bugatti, Lambo and maybe even Bentley will be a big mistake long term but it seems like they're hell bent to catch up to Telsa and try to conquer the EV market. Good luck.

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Let's start a crowd funding and talk to investors so we can take over Lamborghini :P

Would be interesting to know a ballpark figure on the value at this time ... back in 1987 Chrysler bought the company for a rumored $25 million, in 1994 it changed hands for $40 million apparently, and Audi AG got hold of the company in 1998 for $110 million ... so 22 years later ... double? Triple ? Even more?

Someone needs to win a Superball jackpot ;)

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22 hours ago, sl55 said:

Rimac deal is to increase VW's share in Rimac. It also gives Rimac a golden opportunity to showcase their EV tech under the Bugatti name plate. It's a win win situation for Mate Rimac who's still a majority owner.

I think Lambobrghini will be sold as a partnership because there's not many mainstream manufacturers in the current climate looking to splurge on a brand that caters to a very niche market. I personally think VW dumping Bugatti, Lambo and maybe even Bentley will be a big mistake long term but it seems like they're hell bent to catch up to Telsa and try to conquer the EV market. Good luck.

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day, we like to blather on about cars when we can. And we were trying to see what is happening. He raised a good point, what proprietary technology does Lamborghini have that would go with the sale? We assume most would belong to the VAG and isn't part of the sale. So will someone just be buying a brand name and trying to make something new with it? Which could really spell doom for the brand we've come to know and love. Because if you are buying the brand and logos, and then have to build something new without any of the current available support of VAG, doesn't leave you with much to build off of, right? Unless you have some serious established brands and technology. That wouldn't leave many buyers I wouldn't think....

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Exclusive: Volkswagen draws up plans to carve out Lamborghini - sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE is drawing up plans to carve out Lamborghini and has sounded out bankers and potential investors about listing the Italian sports car maker on the stock market, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

They said the German carmaker is looking to make Lamborghini a more independent unit within its stable of car brands and is discussing long-term supply deals, both steps which would make it easier to carry out an initial public offering (IPO).

“This is a first step which gives VW the option to list the unit further down the line,” one of the sources familiar with the discussions about the future of Lamborghini told Reuters.

The source said there was no formal decision to divest Lamborghini and the timetable of any deal remained unclear.

A second source familiar with the talks about Lamborghini, which is currently part of Audi, said Volkswagen would retain a controlling stake in the supercar brand if it were to list.

Volkswagen declined to comment.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Volkswagen was reviewing the future of its high-performance brands Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ducati as part of broader quest for more economies of scale as it shifts to mass producing electric cars.

 

Two company executives told Reuters the review could lead to technology partnerships for the sports car and superbike brands, restructuring, or other options including a listing or sale.

The value of Italian supercar manufacturer Ferrari RACE.MI has more than trebled since Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI listed it in 2016 though shares in rival Aston Martin AML.L have slumped since its IPO in 2018.

Volkswagen’s management and supervisory board will host a five-year planning round in mid November and preparations to carve out Lamborghini could help executives make a decision on a sale or partial listing at short notice.

A third source familiar with the discussions said the future of all three brands was discussed at a supervisory board meeting last Friday, including how to electrify the Lamborghini and Bugatti brands through partnerships and investors.

Lamborghini’s Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali announced this week his departure from the sports car maker to take on a new job as president of Formula One.

‘IMPORTANT STEPS’

Volkswagen Group’s Chief Executive Herbert Diess said on Wednesday the carmaker would announce “important steps” about the company’s future before the end of the year.

A global clampdown on vehicles powered by combustion engines to curb carbon emissions has forced carmakers to accelerate the development of low-emission technology for their mainstream models.

California, for example, which accounts for 11% of U.S. car sales, plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks from 2035, the State’s Governor Gavin Newsom said last week.

Volkswagen managers, however, are struggling to find the resources needed to electrify low volume sports car models such as Lamborghini and Bugatti, which sold 4,554 and 82 cars respectively last year.

By reviewing VW’s portfolio, Diess is slowly unwinding an empire built by his mentor, Ferdinand Piech, Volkswagen’s former chairman and chief executive who died in 2019.

Piech, who hired Diess in 2015, turned Volkswagen around by betting on modular construction techniques which allowed Audi, Seat, Skoda, VW and to use common parts for up to 65% of their construction.

 

Diess is taking a similar approach with electrification to boost economies of scale, developing a modular electric vehicle platform known as MEB, which will fit its mainstream compact and medium-sized vehicles - but not supercars.

Piech bought the Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini brands as part of an aggressive expansion push in 1998 which eventually turned Volkswagen into the biggest car company in the world by sales ahead of Toyota 7203.T.

Diess told Reuters last month he had abandoned VW’s decades-old obsession with empire building and no-expense-spared engineering to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars.

“The product experience needs to be right. But you need to keep an eye on cost. You cannot run the business by focusing only on product,” Diess said.

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Mate Rimac, the eastern BMW E30 garage tuner who installed trunk full of batteries; is going to destroy Bugatti.

BTW, have you driven Rimac or do you know anyone who owns one? I don't and I think nobody else knows eiher.
Only time I have seen one been driven was Hammond when car decided to turn against him, fall off from the mountain and almost burned alive Grand Tour presenter.

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14 hours ago, rmtn said:

Mate Rimac, the eastern BMW E30 garage tuner who installed trunk full of batteries; is going to destroy Bugatti.

BTW, have you driven Rimac or do you know anyone who owns one? I don't and I think nobody else knows eiher.
Only time I have seen one been driven was Hammond when car decided to turn against him, fall off from the mountain and almost burned alive Grand Tour presenter.

I've seen Rimacs on car shows and about a month ago at Supercar Owners Circle where they had both models. To me they look kit car-ish. The Concept one is not a looker at all and the Concept two looks so plain and boring compared to other hypercars. There is something missing. A bit like how I feel about Zenvo ...

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