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Bentley, Bugatti get new CEO at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

The 2011 Detroit Auto Show is all about showing off new models for most automakers but this year, Bentley and Bugatti used the industry’s biggest stage for an official change of their chief executive officer (CEO) as Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen handed over the keys to the two super-exotic auto companies to 52 year old Wolfgang Dürheimer.

Paefgen didn’t just hand the keys over figuratively, but in the Bentley display at the Detroit Auto Show, Dürheimer was handed the given the keys to W.O. Bentley’s own 1930 8-litre saloon. This car is considered to have been the pinnacle of Mr. Bentley’s career in automotive design, as this classic luxury car was able to reach speeds of 100 miles per hour (again, in 1930). The 8-litre saloon is owned by the company now and is still occasionally driven by company officials, along with being used for the symbolic passing of the torch ceremonies.

Dr. Paefgen served as the Chairman and CEO of Bentley for the last 8 years, along with filling both positions at Bugatti since 2007 when he took over after the resignation of Thomas Bscher. Prior to being named the Chairman and CEO of Bentley and Bugatti, Dürheimer spent time served as the VP at Porsche as well as working in R&D for both Porsche and BMW. Also, while spending time working in Stuttgart, Dürheimer was responsible for the 911 line prior so it is very clear that he has a reliable background in luxury performance.

This change was originally announced in late November 2010 and with Bentley showing off their sleek and sporty 2011 lineup at the Detroit Auto Show, their display made for a great backdrop.

Other Bentley and Bugatti news:
Bentley announces management changes
Being a Chauffeur Just Fine in 2011 Bentley GTC Speed 80-11

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