Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen

You may remember the name Franz-Josef Paefgen. Until recently, the German engineer and executive was head of both Bentley and Bugatti. Before that he was chief executive of Audi, after working for several years at Ford. He technically "retired" earlier this year, but like the cars he helped create, an executive like Paefgen could never really retire. So it should come as little surprise that the Volkswagen Group has named Dr. Paefgen head of its Classic program.

In his new capacity, Paefgen will oversee the historic automobile activities of the entire VW Group, including those of Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Lamborghini, and of course Bentley and Bugatti. It strikes us as a suitable semi-retirement for the man responsible in no small part for the Bugatti Veyron and Bentley Mulsanne, to name just two, and who was decorated in 2006 by the ACO as the "Spirit of Le Mans" for his contribution to endurance racing. Read the official announcement after the break.
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DR. FRANZ-JOSEF PAEFGEN TO COORDINATE VOLKSWAGEN GROUP'S CLASSIC ACTIVITIES

Wolfsburg, September 15, 2011 – Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen is to assume responsibility for the global coordination of the Volkswagen Group's Classic activities. Dr. Paefgen was latterly Chairman of Bentley, President of Bugatti and General Representative of Volkswagen AG for Motorsport and Research, and is a renowned authority on the historical automobile scene.

Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda, SEAT, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – Volkswagen Group brands have their own Classic departments. Their mission: To keep the product history alive and nurture the historical experience. Dr. Paefgen will be coordinating these brand activities and also performing representative functions. The 3rd Schloss Bensberg Classics is an opening milestone: He will be chairing a jury of highly respected international automobile experts who will be judging the Concours d'Elégance vehicles and announcing the winners.

The exclusive Classic event will take place from September 16 – 18, 2011 against the setting of the Baroque Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg. The highlights are the Concours d'Elégance featuring some of the world's most attractive classic automobiles and a star-studded Rallye Historique. Vehicles from Volkswagen Group brands will be part of the fascinating line-up.

In 2006, Dr. Paefgen was presented with the "Spirit of Le Mans" award by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest for his commitment to racing sport in Le Mans. He holds a doctorate in engineering and, as previously announced, has been a consultant for the Group since the beginning of 2011.