How the mighty have (possibly) fallen.
We figured this could happen, but only now is there more exact proof. Late last month we wondered whether the debut, or even the entire future, of the Bugatti Chiron could be in trouble in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions debacle. Will the Chiron still launch at Geneva? At a later show? Or cancelled entirely? Newly minted VW CEO Matthias Muller has just told German media that he's exploring cost cutting methods that could see a development halt in non-core models. And, let's face it, Bugatti isn't a core brand; it's an image brand.
VW needs to focus on getting its reputation back among customers – those who buy Golfs, Jettas, etc... "In addition to the huge financial loss, this crisis is primarily a crisis about a loss of confidence. It affects the core of our company and our identity, our cars, and the essence of the brand: solidity, reliability, and credibility," Muller stated. He also didn't rule out company layoffs. While technical solutions to the defeat devices are almost ready, it's VWs reputation that'll require the next major repair. Catering to rich people who spend well over a million bucks on a hypercar that, like its Veyron predecessor, will probably lose money anyway (image cars often do) aren't the customers VW depends on in the long term.