Rolf Frech to be Board Member for Engineering
(Crewe. 28 September 2011) Bentley Motors announced today the appointment of Rolf Frech (53) as its new Board Member for Engineering. Frech joins from Porsche AG where he was Director for Complete Vehicle Engineering and Quality. He succeeds Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, who is to take up the position of Managing Director with the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), the German Association of the Automotive Industry.
Frech joined Porsche in 1983 and worked as an engine development engineer before taking responsibility for simulation and testing. Since becoming Porsche’s Director for Complete Vehicle Engineering in 2001, he has been instrumental in the expansion of the Porsche model range including both the Cayenne and Panamera in addition to the sports cars of the Zuffenhausen manufacturer.
Commenting on the appointment, Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Wolfgang Dürheimer, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Rolf Frech to the Bentley team. He brings with him a wealth of experience from Porsche, experience which will help us develop new generations of Bentleys which share the same commitment to performance, quality and engineering excellence. Having worked with him for 12 years I know he will be a real asset to the Company and provide technical leadership to our Design, Engineering and R&D operations.”
Frech said: “I am excited about this new position. Bentley has a long and proud heritage and tradition of performance, design and hand-crafted luxury. It will be my responsibility to develop new ideas and technologies which live up to the expectations of Bentley customers and the achievements of the past.”
Rolf Frech, who is married with two daughters, will take up his new role at Bentley in November 2011.
Dr Ulrich Eichhorn joined Bentley in 2003 as Board Member for Engineering after being Volkswagen Group Director of Research and has played a major role in the revitalisation of the famous Brand. His arrival coincided with the last phase of the development of the ground-breaking Continental GT and his tenure has included the Continentals GTC, Flying Spur and Supersports, the iconic Azure and Brooklands, the all-new Mulsanne and, most recently, the 2nd generation Continental GT and GTC. Dr Eichhorn will join the Association of the German Automobile Industry (VDA).
Commenting on the management change, Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Wolfgang Dürheimer, said:
“Everyone at Bentley would like to thank Dr Eichhorn for his significant contribution to Bentley Motors as we know it today. All our current products bear his handwriting and we wish him all the best and every success in the future.”
Notes to editors
1. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
2. Bentley’s global sales to August 2011 increased by 31% on the same period last year with 4016 cars delivered to customers. The surge in sales has been driven by demand for Bentley's newly launched Continental GT – which is now available in all markets and accounts for just under half of all sales. The popularity of the brand in the Chinese region continues to increase, with sales up 67% and passing the 1000 mark for the first time ever. However, every major market saw growth with the Americas up 36% and Europe up 35%, led by resurgent sales in Germany which have increased by two thirds. With the imminent arrival of the new Continental GTC, Bentley expects to increase its overall sales by around 40% in 2011.
For further information about this press release please contact
Michael Baumann – Communications Director
Michael.Baumann@Bentley.co.uk + 44 (0) 1270 535 189
Mike Hawes – Director, Corporate & Government Affairs
Mike.Hawes@Bentley.co.uk +44 (0) 1270 535 287
For further information on Bentley please go to www.bentleymedia.com