At over $6 million lost per car, the Veyron has cost VW Group billions. But not as much as the Smart Fortwo has cost Mercedes.
What do the Bugatti Veyron and Smart Fortwo have in common? According to automotive analysts at Bernstein Research, they head their respective tables of overall losses and losses per unit in modern times. The lists reveal the largest product failures over the past 25 years. At £2.82 bn, the Smart Fortwo is the top of the largest overall loss table with Mercedes investing heavily in a new platform, engines and factory after taking over the project from Swatch founder Nicholas Hayeck.
That massive investment was compounded by undershooting sales targets by over 40 percent. Other cars that make the list for failing to convince as many buyers as anticipated include the Fiat Stilo (£1.77 bn), VW Phaeton (£1.68 bn), Peugeot 1007 (£1.59 bn), Mercedes A-Class (£1.44 bn), and Jaguar X-type (£1.43 bn). Then there’s the Bugatti that apparently costs parent company VW £3,887,051 every time one is sold, and will end up costing almost £1.75 bn once all 450 units sell out. In their defense, the Veyron represents a technical showcase for VW who knew it would lose money. No such excuse can be used for the Phaeton, however, which cost VW £23,655 per unit.