Bentley names industry veteran Winkler to head Americas unit
VW subsidiary lured exec from Jaguar Land Rover
Bentley said it appointed Michael Winkler as president and CEO of Bentley Motors in the Americas, replacing Christophe Georges, who will become director of product and marketing for Bentley’s global organization.
The change will take effect April 1. Winkler will work out of Bentley parent Volkswagen Group's U.S. headquarters in Herndon, Virginia., the ultraluxury brand said in a statement Monday.
Winkler, 52, who has more than 30 years' experience in the automotive industry, currently is managing director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Australian division. He also has held positions with Porsche in Germany, North America and Australia.
Winkler will report to Kevin Rose, Bentley’s board member for sales, marketing and aftersales.
“The Americas region plays a key part in Bentley’s global success, our biggest market with more Bentley customers than anywhere else in the world. I am delighted to welcome Michael to Bentley, and look forward to working with him to drive our brand and network presence further,” Rose said in a statement.
The Americas was Bentley’s largest market in 2014, accounting for 3,186 or 29 percent of the automaker's total global deliveries, the statement said.
Bentley has 53 dealerships throughout the Americas, a region that comprises Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the U.S.
Georges, 48, has been in his position since 2008. He will relocate to Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England. He will manage the company’s marketing, product and motorsport activities, including brand strategy, digital marketing, customer relationship management, the Bentley Collection and motor shows and live events, the statement said.
Rose said: “Christophe brings considerable experience from working for the Bentley brand internationally, leading Bentley’s activities in both Europe and the Americas. He has a wealth of knowledge of the ultraluxury market and a strong understanding of the Bentley brand, making him the ideal person to take Bentley’s product and marketing activities into the future.”