Bugatti lost $6.25 million per Veyron it sold, so will the Chiron actually make money?
The world is a fast moving place. A hundred years ago, people were dying of the flu, women couldn’t vote, and cars were still in their infancy. What was once impressive now seems laughably primitive, and while this doesn’t apply to the Veyron, Bugatti isn’t going to wait until it does. To stay ahead of the curve, Bugatti has been cooking a new world-beating hypercar while slowly phasing out the Veyron. Breathtaking pictures of the Bugatti Vision GT were released to arouse gearheads.
Meanwhile, Bugatti’s heavyweight engineers were already hard at work testing the final production version of the Chiron. The Chiron’s looks are undoubtedly stealing fan’s attention but the whole car’s credibility is resting on the back of the Veyron’s legacy. The Chiron isn’t expected to leapfrog too far over it's older brother simply because the Veyron was already so far ahead of its time. So how come the Chiron creates such a stir? The answer lies in the culture that the Veyron created around it. It is written in the rules of pop culture that to make a splash, something has to be rapped about and owned by celebrities. When it came to being the most talked about, Bugatti excelled.
It appeared in advertisements like Nike’s Bugatti vs. Cristiano Ronaldo film, which only inspired Ronaldo to buy his own Bug. The car’s maintenance costs made it the new thing for rappers to blow cash on right after $10,000 bottles of champagne. Even eight years after the Veyron’s release, Ace Hood rapped about waking up in a new Bugatti, continuing hip-hop’s lyrical affair with the car. So how did an impractical hypercar that costs millions get so popular during a recession? The answer lies in the legend that the car has built for itself as well as its availability. A Veyron gives people a sense of awe wherever it goes because everyone knows it’s the fastest, most expensive, rare, and absurd car that they will see.
On top of this, rare cars are now seen as secure investments, so the wealthy view a Veyron not only as a ticket to speed and exclusivity but as a piece of metal that sits in their garage and gains value. To make it easier for prospective buyers to get their hands on one, Bugatti made the Veyron compliant with regulations everywhere, meaning anyone in any country could buy one. Couple that with the fact that the rich never did lose too much money in the recession and instead gained wealth during the periods of growth before and after the crash and you get the perfect storm to make it rain checks signed to Bugatti. The only problem that Bugatti will have when transitioning to making the Chiron is money.
If Bugatti really did lose $6.25 million per Veyron it sold, then the company needs to make the Chiron profitable to recoup some of that investment. We can only speculate how much the Chiron will cost Volkswagen and it's recently slimmed coffers, so until the facts come to the surface, all we can do is cross our fingers and stay giddy until the Geneva Motor Show in March.