Stephan Winkelmann was born in Berlin on the 18th October 1964 and grew up in Rome, Italy. He studied Political Science in Rome, took his degree in Munich and spent two years in the paratroopers in Germany, leaving as a lieutenant.
In 1991 he started his professional career at a German financial institution. In the following years he focused his interests on the automotive industry, working first for Mercedes-Benz and then for Fiat Auto from 1994 to 2004 in marketing and sales, both in Italy and abroad. He was then appointed as CEO of Fiat Auto Austria, Switzerland and lastly Fiat Auto Germany.
On 1st January 2005, Stephan Winkelmann was appointed President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy). The growth of the Company since his arrival has been distinguished by one of the most highly esteemed turn-around programs in the automotive and luxury sectors.
Since his appointment in January 2005, Mr. Winkelmann has implemented a business strategy based on three major principles, with the overall goal of turning Lamborghini into the Italian company with the most appealing luxury supersport brand.
The first principle involves the product line, which is divided into two models: the Aventador and the Huracán. This product strategy also includes a commitment to introducing at least one new product every year.
The substantial investments in Research and Development promoted by Mr. Winkelmann represent a significant portion of the Company's total turnover and have been the driving force behind Lamborghini's rise to the top in such fields as lightweight engineering and the development of advanced carbon fiber technologies.
The second principle is a considerable expansion of the sales network to maximize market penetration. Thanks to this policy, the number of Lamborghini dealers worldwide tripled in the last decade: today Lamborghini is present in 46 countries with 129 dealers.
The third strategic principle is brand extension, which is viewed by Mr. Winkelmann as an opportunity to further develop the value of the marque and strengthen its market recognition.Numerous products and services have been developed to effect brand extension. These include a line of clothing and accessories (Collezione Automobili Lamborghini), a monomarque motorsport championship (Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo), the operations of the Lamborghini museum and factory, and the Lamborghini driving experiences.
In consideration of special merits in the development of a successful business strategy, in November 2010, Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, was awarded the prestigious decoration of Grand Officer in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
In September 2012 in Chicago, Stephan Winkelmann received the Global Leadership Award from the Italian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC). This honor highlighted his contributions to US and international advancements of Italian culture through his leadership of Lamborghini.
In May 2014 Stephan Winkelmann received the highest decoration in the Order of Merit of The Italian Republic, Knight Grand Cross. The decoration was awarded through the presidential "Motu Proprio" for the valued results achieved by Winkelmann as leader of one of the most important companies of Made in Italy.