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In an article published back in October 2013, Business Insider quoted an analysis conducted by Wall Street research firm Bernstein Research about how the Veyron was a money pit for its parent company. The Volkswagen Group allegedly lost roughly $6.24 million for each of the 450 cars it sold during the hypercar’s 10-year run. That said, the Molsheim brand denied the report, saying the “the quoted figures of Bernstein Research are not plausible.”
Bernstein Research analysts also said the numbers were “obviously very, very approximate” and therefore shouldn’t be taken “too seriously.” Even so, it’s hard to imagine Bugatti made any money with the Veyron, but that all changed with its successor, the Chiron. The “French” company made a tidy profit on all 500 vehicles, according to Mate Rimac.
In an interview with Autocar, the CEO of newly founded Bugatti Rimac said “people would be surprised how profitable each one is. I certainly was.” However, he admitted the company has been less successful from a business perspective in developing cars. According to the 34-year-old Croatian entrepreneur, Rimac needed less money to engineer the Nevera from the ground up compared to the funds VW poured into the Chiron even though it took the W16 engine and dual-clutch Ricardo automatic gearbox from the Veyron.
Mate Rimac explains the high costs were generated by externalizing a lot of the development work. When the time came to prepare for the future beyond the Chiron, VW Group had to decide – either invest billions to electrify Bugatti or kill off the fabled brand. Mate Rimac mentions that “somebody” came up with the idea of a merger with Rimac, which he describes as being a win-win-win situation.
It’s a win for customers “because we have exciting new products coming. We won’t just hump along; we will flourish.” It’s a win for the employees since the company will expand, and a win from a corporate perspective on both sides. For VW, it helps the automotive conglomerate keep Bugatti alive and ensure it has a future. For Rimac, it’s an honor to manage one of the oldest and most reputable brands in the business.
But what does the future have in tow for Bugatti? Well, an all-new car with a combustion engine has already been confirmed and will be “heavily electrified.” It’s going to have never-before-seen features and should be out sometime in 2024 when Mate Rimac says we’ll all be “astonished” by the Chiron replacement. Hopefully, the ICE in question will still have sixteen cylinders, but nothing is official at this point.