In the midst of a major new product roll-out, Bentley is about to undergo a major shake-up in its management team, as well.
Long-time CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen will retire, with Wolfgang Durheimer slotted in as his replacement next February.
The executive shift comes as Bentley is in the midst of re-doing its entire line-up. The British marque’s aging flagship sedan, the Arnage, was recently replaced by an all-new model, the $285,000 Mulsanne. Next up is an all-new version of the Continental line-up, Bentley’s volume mainstay. The sporty Continental GT replacement made its debut, last month, at the Paris Motor Show.
The original Continental was a transformative model for Bentley, which was purchased by Volkswagen AG a little more than a decade ago. Launched during Paefgen’s 8-year tenure as CEO, it generated sales numbers never before seen in the ultra-premium luxury market. Immediately prior to the 2008 global economic meltdown, Bentley sales soared to more than 10,000 a year, with the various Continental spin-offs, including the GT coupe, Flying Spur sedan and GTC convertible accounting for 90% of that volume.