Want New Product From Bugatti? Forget About It, Says CEO
There have been some turbulent times at Bugatti in the second half of 2020. In addition to wearing a For Sale sign over at Volkswagen’s headquarters, the company is discovering that The Current Year just might not be the best time to create a new and super-exclusive hypercar. So it isn’t.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV yesterday, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann dashed the hopes of wealthy oligarchs and rap stars across the globe. “We had talks about a second model lineup. This was now blocked due to the Coronavirus crisis; we’re not talking about what’s coming next.”
The second model in question would’ve been a road-going offering to sit beside the pinnacle Chiron, which took the place of the departed Veyron for the 2016 model year. Any time Bugatti plans a new model it’s sort of a big deal. Unlike most automobile companies, Bugatti has operated differently since its inception: New models are few and far between. Since 1950 the company has produced a total of seven different vehicles. The French maker is at near max capacity at the moment and builds the aforementioned Chiron and the very limited edition (40 cars) Divo. Unlike the luxury Chiron, the Divo is made to whip it good around a track and is focused on lightness and handling.
In addition to the pandemic which seems to stretch out in the distance forever, other financial factors are certainly weighing against developing a new Bugatti. As we reported in September, there’s word that EV supercar firm Rimac Automobili is in talks to purchase the brand from Volkswagen. And VW itself has been on a money-losing streak, both in its failure to grasp North American market share and in spending big development bucks on the new ID line of EVs.
Bugatti sucks up a lot of development dollars, and its luxury hypercar mission means it’s necessarily limited in its product offerings. It can’t really offer an entry-level hybrid, a family sedan, or a crossover. Volkswagen already has numerous brands in its portfolio which are more versatile than Bugatti, have a greater return on investment, can share platforms, and don’t require 16-cylinder power. Lamborghini, Bentley, and Porsche cover most of the bases, and the former even has a halo image (albeit less golden) than Bugatti.
It’ll likely be a holding pattern for Bugatti for the near future until a sale occurs and Rimac can start branding its intensely fast vehicles with that illustrious EB badge.
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- Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
- Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
- ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
- ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
- Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?