* Ex-Audi R&D boss to take Bentley, Bugatti helm June 1
* Current head to assume leading role at group level - VW
BERLIN, April 15 Volkswagen has
appointed Audi's former development chief to take the reins at
Bentley and Bugatti, the third top management change at the two
ultra-luxury auto brands in just over three years.
Wolfgang Duerheimer, sacked as Audi's R&D boss last June
over differences with staff, will become head of Bentley and
Bugatti on June 1, replacing Wolfgang Schreiber who will assume
"a leading role" within the VW group, the Wolfsburg-based
manufacturer said on Tuesday.
Duerheimer, a former top executive at Porsche, another VW
stablemate, quit Audi last year following criticism by senior
managers at VW group who were concerned that the premium brand
was losing momentum.
It will be Duerheimer's second stint at Britain-based
Bentley and France-based Bugatti. In February 2011, he took the
helm at both brands for 19 months, succeeding retiring chief
Though Bentley and Bugatti, owned by VW since 1998, account
for less than 0.2 percent of last year's 9.73 million global
vehicle sales, the two brands help to give the German group an
aura of technical prowess, while carrying out key research
tasks, especially on lightweight construction.
Schreiber, previously head of VW's Germany-based
commercial-vehicles division, has led operations at Bentley and
Bugatti since September 2012. VW declined to comment on his
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Mark Potter)