Surely since the world has gone to hell in a handbasket, you’ve been waiting with bated breath for an update on how Bugatti top man Stephan Winkelmann is coping with the immense burden of presiding over a temporarily shuttered Franco-German hypercar manufacturer while sometimes staying at home all day. We are all in this together, folks. It’s a terrible time to be anyone, but Winkelmann has it really tough.
Thursday the Bug man sent out a press release letting everyone know that he hasn’t stopped working. He’s still relentlessly pursuing an agenda to supply tens of cars per annum to those who really need them most. In spite of France requiring workers to stay home, and the Bugatti Atelier closing production 19 days ago, Winkelmann is still hard at it.
Most of the time, the Winkster does his work from home. But sometimes he just has to be in the office, naturally. He is happy to travel the 26 kilometers from his home in Strasbourg to see the Molsheim factory at least twice per week. And of course there are some vital staff, namely the security staff and the facilities manager, still at the facility whom he needs must meet with.
See, here he is working from his desk at the factory. But don’t worry, he’s at least 6 feet away from the photographer who took this photo. Both of them absolutely have to be there, otherwise how would we know he was still working hard to make Bugattis for the world. This is a vital service they’re providing.
But, on those days when he heeds the government’s shelter in place mandates, he’s still hard at work as the head of the least important automobile manufacturer in Europe. Today we get to peek through the looking glass at what it’s like, a day in the life of a (occasionally, when he feels like it) homebound Stephan Winkelmann. Oh joyous day!
7:00 am is time to wakeup with a light breakfast and a look at the news
“I use a range of different media to find out about what is currently going on in the world, in politics and in business.”
8:30 am is email time and a Skype call with the members of the Bugatti Executive Board. A real meeting of the minds.
“Even though none of our hyper sports cars are able to leave our Molsheim site at the moment, we are continuing to work actively where possible.”
10:00 am more conference calls!
“Our motto is always the same: the only way we can continue to build the best cars in the world is by talking to one another.”
12:00 pm it’s time for lunch! More emails and some television news.
“Due to the time differences between the various regions, lunchtime is a good time to get an idea of what is going on in the world.”
2:00 pm Winky is back on the phones. This time he’s talking to the products committee about development of current and future Bugatti products. This is a discussion that needs to happen every single day, despite Bugatti only having built two different chassis in the fifteen years.
“Bugatti never stands still. Not at the weekends, not over the Christmas holidays, and definitely not on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Wow, those are truly inspirational words.
7:00 pm is the time for physical activity.
“Since I currently cannot train at the gym or in the pool, I go running for an hour in the early evening and break up my run with a few exercises. This improves my endurance and health, I enjoy it and it gives me time to review the day without my smartphone or computer.”
9:00 pm Mr. Winkelmann calls his mother in Germany. What a guy!
10:00 pm is time to look for the silver lining of this dark cloud we call life in 2020.
“For me, the only benefit of the lockdown is that I have more time to read in the evenings. I normally read two books in parallel, one fiction and one non-fiction.”
I thought it might be fun to compare how my daily quarantine schedule differs from Stephan Winkelmann’s daily (quasi)quarantine schedule. Are you ready to have a good time? I know I am.
5:00 am wake with a start from a nightmare and stress eat all day while trying not to fall into a bottomless pit of angry tweets.
1:00 pm jack in to the information superhighway for my shift in the blog mines.
7:00 pm existential dread.
See, wasn’t that fun?
Anyhow, I’m glad the extremely Bugatti man is still keeping his shit together enough to make sure the future of hypercar ownership is still safe. A truly worthy cause.
H/T: Kristen Lee