Archive for the 'Bugatti' Category

Star saleswoman only sold 11 cars

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

How does selling 11 cars in a year make you a start sales woman? Well, imagine if the cars sold for in excess of $1.5 million each. At the Bugatti dealership of HR Owen in London, you can order one from Anita Krizsan.


Star saleswoman only sold 11 cars.

The rich keep getting richer…

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

If you look at the sheer number of exotic car models out there, then estimate the sales of those models ranging from a few dozen per year produced by a company like Bugatti to ten thousand a year produced by sister company Bentley, you might be forgiven for assuming that the global economic downturn never existed.

McLaren, of Formula and McLaren F1 supercar fame, is back with a new car to be launched in early 2011. The new car is the McLaren MP4-12C. It was borne out of the dissolution of the longstanding relationship between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. The cooperative produced such fabled cars at the Mercedes-Benz SLR and SLC. It will reach 124 mph in fewer than 10 seconds, but will be able to stop in less than half that amount. From the moment the first example is rolled off the production line, it will be an instant hit and a sure-footed supercar. Much cheaper than the original F1, the car should run about £175,000, with both cheaper and more expensive models to follow-up in subsequent years.

For more than a quarter of a million dollars, you might think that such a car would have a very limited following, yet McLaren has just announced that they already have 2700 interested buyers. That is more than two years worth of production. That figure is astounding when you consider the number of people out of work in the US and the EU – the likely primary markets for these cars.

Yet, the figure may not be an anomaly. Rolls-Royce, a unit of BMW Group, has announced record monthly sales since its relaunch in 2003. The company produced 300 hand-made vehicles from its Goodwood facility in June 2010. Sales were up 400 per cent, with strong growth in Asia-Pacific, particularly China. This may cause some to ponder whether the Chinese really are communist!

But that’s not all. Mercedes-Benz also has reported a record June sales month. 113,200 vehicles were moved with strong results from the high-end E-class and S-class models. Interestingly, on the low end of the totem pole, the über-cheap Smart ForTwo has seen a continued slump in sales, even in the new U.S. market. Smart hopes to turn around their sales decline by launching an updated Smart later this summer.

Sources:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/251307

http://www.leftlanenews.com/rolls-royce-bucks-economic-downturn-sells-out.html

http://www.autonews.com/article/20100705/ANE/307059932/1131

Bugatti sightings… why are we so interested?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in all its glory!

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in all its glory!

If there was ever a doubt in the halo effect that accompanies a super car launch… if you ever thought Porsche’s Carrera GT, Lamborghini Reventón, Aston Martin’s One-77, VW’s Phaeton, Mercedes SLR, Acura’s NSX, Nissan’s GT-R, and Audi’s R8 were a waste of space and a money losing venture, you were wrong. VW Group’s crowning achievement is undoubtedly the venerable Bugatti Veyron 16.4.

Acquired in 1998 from Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli, VW immediately set to work building a successor to the EB110. It was considered by many to be the most sophisticated car of its kind at the time, a trait that followed in VW’s iteration called the Veyron 16.4. Even at its introduction and production start in 2005, VW never intended the Veyron to surpass 300 units. Indeed, the company has said that after 300 are produced, the car will be discontinued. Interestingly, this has not resulted in a static design and the company has continued to pump out alterations including “special editions” and a Gran Sport, replete with a removable roof.

It has been said by many that the Bugatti is the ultimate supercar, not just of today, but also of all time. Those who make that argument point to the jaw-dropping 0-60 mph times under 2.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 400 KM/hour (250+ mph). Others marvel at the 16-cylinder, 4-turbocharger engine or the 10 radiators onboard. Still others marvel that at full speed, the car runs out of full in 12 minutes and the tires burn to a crisp at 15 minutes. All of that in a rather un-dramatic, but stunning fashion.

It is the combination of those factors, the styling, and the EURO1,000,000+ price tag that make the Bugatti the ultimate halo product for VW Group. What is the halo effect, and why is it so important that VW stands to lose millions of euros for each Veyron produced? Halo products in general are the über-expensive, lower volume, highly publicized products that companies produce to create buzz for the company and the other products sold by that company. Even a low volume company like Porsche can benefit from a halo product because these products do so much to bring status and media coverage. A company that produces a rather low quality product can be perceived as one that more generally produces very high-end products. The company may actually lose money selling the halo product, but these halo products are often considered a marketing cost anyway. Ideally, a company would save massive amounts of money on advertising by introducing a product that is constantly covered by the media.

So it is with the Bugatti Veyron. Associating Bugatti with VW Group and providing otherwise sound business strategy has meant that VW has pushed past Toyota (IN A WEAK MARKET!) to become the number one producer of automobiles in not just Europe, but the entire world with 4.4 million units for the year according to IHS Global Insight.

http://www.autoobserver.com/2009/11/vw-pushes-past-toyota-as-global-production-leader.html

For an example of the aforementioned press coverage, see the following irrelevant, but positive pieces of new coverage:

Early Fall auto news round-up

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

scirocco_cup_cng

Volkswagen

VW in an effort to promote the tons of eco-friendlier cars launched at IAA in Frankfurt in September has decided to pursue eco-sales with a new eco-friendly racing series. The company is starting a single-make racing series where all of the cars run on bio-produced compressed natural gas. The model used in the series is the new Scirocco and should reduce racetrack CO2 output by 80 per cent over today’s racing fuels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder cars will have 220 horsepower on tap. Not bad for an alt fuel car!

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/volkswagen-cng/

On other green fronts, VW Group is working with Stanford University in California in a US$5.75 million project to make VW the largest carmaker with R&D in Silicon Valley. Already the two companies have produced autonomous (read self-driving) versions of the VW Passat and now the Audi TT-S. The Audi TT-S will attempt to drive itself up the 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak next year, according Wired.

vail_01

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/vw-vail/

Audi’s Johan de Nysschen, critical of the Chevy Volt, took an interview with Time recently to express his views on the state of the luxury auto industry. He stated that Audi’s goal is to be the “top” German luxury manufacturer, but not necessarily in terms of sales. He also reiterated the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles leading to Zero emissions cars in the not so distant future.

Source: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1933906,00.html

Bugatti

Bugatti has unleashed a new concept car the 4-seat, 4-door (can you believe it???) Galibier 16C. Autocar magazine claims the production will start in 2013 at £900,000. We will believe it when we see it! Interestingly, the car’s engine will be the same as in the Veyron but will only sport 800BHP. Apparently, 200 get lost when adding 2 doors.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244753

Caterham

Rarely does Caterham make the news, except when they unleash new, wildly fun lightweight roadster, but unfortunately, Caterham’s found Graham Nearn died in late October. Nearn has been selling the then-titled Lotus 7 since its introduction in 1959, and then when the car was discontinued in 1973, Nearn bought the rights and has been producing the car ever since and in more exciting, evolving versions. You can even buy a kit and put a Caterham 7 together yourself. If you are not familiar with this brand, you should be!

Top Gear featured it in a segment awhile back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOxHV6QfJkg

Source: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244398

Ferrari

Beyond the KM has previously marveled at the sales resiliency of the Ferrari nameplate. But even THIS economy has the prancing stallion kow-towing to the bear market of Wall Street.

Its third quarter results for 2009 showed revenues of 396 million euros (£359m) – down from 450m euros (£408m) in the same period last year. It sold 1454 cars, down 4.3 per cent year on year.

However, Ferrari announced that it has grown its market share in every market it monitors, against a drop in supercar sales of around 40 per cent.

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The Veyron “Bleu Centenaire”

Saturday, March 7th, 2009
Bugatti Bleu Centenaire

Bugatti Bleu Centenaire

Bugatti Bleu Centenaire Interior

Bugatti Bleu Centenaire Interior

From Bugatti:

Hundred years of Bugatti

In 1909 Ettore Bugatti started his business in the Alsacian town of Molsheim, France. The name of the company: „Ettore Bugatti Automobiles i.Els.“. And although the name has changed into “Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.”, the site and the philosophy of the brand have been preserved. In 2006 the first model under the „new management“ was launched, precisely 50 years after the last car of the original company left the gates of the Molsheim factory. The Bugatti Veyron has only been on the market for three years, but has already reached the status of being an undisputed part of automotive history, with 250 cars ordered to date, and nearly 200 cars delivered. This means that there are only 50 Veyrons to be sold until the limit of 300 units will be reached.

Building on the marque’s core values of “Art – Forme – Technique”,  Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. has created the Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centenaire, a unique model to celebrate the hundred year old history of the company. This special model takes up the traditional Bugatti two-tone-specification, but portrays it in one rather than two colours: in the most known light shaded Bugatti blue. The Centenaire’s unique combination

of a “sprintblue matte” and “sprintblue gloss” hence offers a new impression of the two-tone-scheme known so far with parts of the engine also covered in this traditional Bugatti Blue.

The roof-trim-stripes and the exterior rearview mirrors are of polished, anodised aluminium. A special wheel design has been added – enhanced by a bright red brake-capillar.

The interior of the Centenaire is fitted in a special «snowbeige» leather with quilting on the seats. The central console is covered in the same leather. New LED lights, Park Distance Control and a rearview camera have become part of the standard equipment for all Bugatti Veyrons from this year onwards. The Bleu Centenaire shares all performance characteristics of other Veyron models performance-, acceleration- and deceleration characteristics which have been highly praised ever since the Bugatti Veyron first appeared on the scene. The car will cost 1,35 Million Euro exclusive taxes and transportation.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport

The Bugatti Grand Sport is a unique roadster based on the Veyron Coupé and was launched at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance in California. This new model will go into production at the end of April 2009 and will be limited to a total of 150 units over lifetime. The first chassis numbers are reserved for existing Veyron Coupé customers, honoring their loyalty and offering them the chance to be at top of the waiting list. This measure has been highly appreciated.

The $4.5 million needle in the haystack

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante sold by Bonhams earlier this month for a “royale” price of US$4,530,000 wasn’t shocking because it was one of 17 produced and was originally owned by the founder of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. Rather, the shocking bit comes that it sat in a barn, owned by doctor in Newscastle. Imagine the look on the person who first discovered this and actually KNEW its significance!

View Map of Newscastle

 

Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon was born in Mayfair, London, in May 
1884 into a privileged background and, following family tradition, 
adopted a career with the Royal Navy after leaving school, serving as 
a Battalion Commander of the 2nd Brigade Royal Naval Division in the 
Great War, seeing action at Gallipoli and in Salonica, France and 
Belgium. Upon cessation of hostilities the Rt. Hon. Viscount Curzon 
entered politics, winning the Battersea South seat in London for the 
Conservative Party in 1918, while still retaining his Naval 
connections, taking up the rank of Captain and becoming Commanding 
Officer of the Sussex Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 
1921. He succeeded to the peerage in 1929 upon the death of his 
father, becoming the 5th Earl Howe. This elevation to the peerage 
ended his Parliamentary career and it was about this time that he 
began his long and distinguished involvement in motor racing. 

How a reverse VW-Porsche takeover might work

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Unless you have been living in a cave the last two years, you know that Porsche’s strong financial position has allowed them to make a gradual play for VW’s shares. In fact it is just the latest in what has been a long-time partnership between the two + Audi. You may recall that many years ago Audi+Porsche dealerships often shared the same building.

But what we really didn’t know until recently was how Porsche might use VW in their product portfolio. Remember that the VW Touareg , Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne share the same platform. The benefit being significantly cheaper development costs. Bear in mind that Porsche has had a benefit in this partnership of releasing their Cayenne before VW and Audi have released their products. Ironically, it is the smashing success of the Cayenne product line that has given Porsche the ability to launch a takeover of VW.

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LOTW: How much is your trip to Tampa costing you?

Monday, October 6th, 2008

 

 

We’ve discovered a great new site that can help budget your costs for the next cross-country road trip.

http://costtodrive.com

To review the site, it’s a little slow at times, but if you have a 2000 or new car and have your itinerary planned out for your great drive across America, Cost2Drive can calculate, pretty accurately, the cost of driving from Phoenix to Los Angeles in a 2001 Honda Civic. The answer is of course: $35. The price for driving a $1.5mm Bugatti Veyron with more than 4 times the horsepower? $135. But guess what, you won’t get there any faster…at least not legally!

LOTW: If you have to ask, you can NOT afford it!

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

This week’s link come to us from the LA Times’ Dan Neil.

The article discusses
LA Times Article

Lamborghini last year launched the ad personum program to provide individually tailored options to their cars. In January 2008, then went a step further by releasing the following:

LAMBORGHINI UNVEILS FASHION INSPIRED TRENDS FOR THEIR
GALLARDO AND MURCIÉLAGO MODELS AT THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Lamborghini Launches The Matte Trend, Proposing A New Dark Blue For Exteriors And Natural Tuscan Leather For Interiors As New Personalization Options

Automobili Lamborghini will present three brand-new examples of vehicle personalization, intentionally drawing inspiration from the most glamorous trends of the world of fashion, at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show on January 13-26, 2008.

The proposed individualizations are part of the Ad Personam personalization program. The vehicles are based on the concept of “think of the impossible” and offers Lamborghini customers the ability to create their own “original”, perfectly tailor-made super sports car.

The Gallardo Spyder will be presented in an innovative Ad Personam matte brown paint, Marrone Apus, now available on standard vehicles in the wake of the enormous success met by the Reventón, the very first Lamborghini offered with a matte finish.

Marrone Apus, an elegant shade halfway between brown and black, gives off exquisite golden reflections in the sunlight due to a pigment able to imbue the paint with an iridescent look.

The interior also exhibits a new shade of brown Alcantara, named Marrone Gaia which is used to upholster the seats. The fabric is combined with Marrone Janus and Bianco Polar leather, with the addition of Pianolac used to cover the center console and steering wheel.

A new shade of light blue, Blu Cepheus, also joins the Ad Personam program. It is proposed for the exteriors of the Murciélago LP640 Coupé and Roadster in Detroit. This pale blue is reminiscent of the naturalistic environment and is deliberately inspired by the purity and transparency of polar ice, in addition to depicting one of the most glamorous shades in fashion today.

This shade also benefits from the same iridescent effects of the matte paint. The same pigment selected for Marrone Apus is used in this case to attain and exalt a more primary blue when reflecting sunlight. Blu Cepheus is iridescent in the light just like icebergs, although it maintains its monochromatic nature.

Another novelty of the Ad Personam program is the leather selected for the interiors of the Murciélago LP640 Roadster. This leather covers the elegant seats of this super sports car, an Italian leather, in keeping with Tuscany’s prestigious tanning tradition. It is untreated, inspired by the natural leather found on horse saddles and leads to natural changes in color over time, a tendency that confirms its natural state and total absence of treatments.

“Lamborghini is strongly focusing on the Ad Personam personalization program due to the importance of offering customers the widest range of possibilities for individualizing their cars. This allows them the ability to reflect their own personality and style,” states Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “Many of our customers take advantage of this program as a tool for owning an even more exclusive Lamborghini.”

VW Coming to America – No, Really, It’s True!!!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

VW Logo

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced last year that it has changed its name to Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. The change will be fully effective January 1, 2008.

VW Scirocco

The new name better reflects the fact that the Volkswagen Group of America includes five distinct brands: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen, as well as the related financial services functions of Audi Financial Services, Bentley Financial Services and Volkswagen Credit.
“Our company, like the entire Volkswagen Group, has grown dramatically since our formation in the United States in 1955. Our new corporate name allows our individual brands to flourish, while recognizing that we have a common support structure that gives us great strength as we face our competitors,” said Stefan Jacoby, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The new name Volkswagen Group of America reflects the much wider array of goods and services we now offer, and prepares us for even more activities in the future.”

(more…)

Bugatti appoints Paefgen as new Leader, Bscher Departs

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Bugatti issued this press release in the last week:

Paefgen new President of Bugatti

Wolfsburg, March 13, 2007 – With immediate effect, Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen (60) has been appointed the new President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. (Molsheim) and Bugatti International S.A. (Luxemburg). He succeeds Dr. Thomas Bscher, who leaves the company by mutual agreement at the end of the month.
Paefgen will continue to perform his duties as Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors Ltd. and General Representative of Volkswagen AG for Group Research and Motorsport in addition to his new responsibilities. >From 1980, he held various senior posts at Audi AG, the most recent being Chairman of the Board of Management from 1998 to 2002. Since 2002, Paefgen has, inter alia, been Chairman of Bentley Motors Ltd.
From 2003 to 2005, he was responsible for the development of the Veyron 16.4 as Chief Executive Officer of Bugatti Engineering.

2007 Bugatti Veyron

Our analysis of this important appointment in twofold. First, it shows strength in that Paefgen has a background managing car firms that produce high-quality, ultra-expensive cars. Second, Paefgen’s success at Bentley proves that he can expand the product line for a small niche manufacturer. Bentley has very successfully done this in the past five years.

Why is this important? VW and Bugatti lose money on each Veyron sold, despite a US $1.3 million price tag. Still, Bugatti is critical to VW for two reasons. Firstly, it establishes them as a serious manufacturer of supercars and brings buyers to the VW group as a sort of flagship. Secondly, Bugatti serves as a critical test bed for VW group research and development. Serious R&D accomplishment that shows up in the Bugatti will eventually make its way into future Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Audis, and even VW-brand vehicles.

We should therefore expect to see further product development out of Bugatti in the form of a lower-priced more “mass-market” car (something with a production level of over 75 a year – the current production level for the Veyron). We should also expect some Veyron technologies in this and Lamborghini/Bentley models in the following years. This will serve, in part, to reduce the loss, a “sunk cost” technically, which has been observed at VW.

Car of the Year Awards Winter 2007

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Yes, it’s that time of the year, the picks for the best cars as of Winter 2007.

Which European cars are by matter of fact, “the best”? Find out below:

Best Supercar over $500,000: Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Best Supercar under $500,000: Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Best Ultra Luxury Convertible: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

Best Ultra Luxury Sedan: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best Ultra Luxury Coupé: Bentley GT

Best Hot Hatchback: VW GTI

Best Hot Sedan: Audi S8

Best sound: (tie) Ferrari 599 GTB/Ferrari F430

Best sports car under $100,000: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Best sports car over $100,000: Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Best new sports car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Best Small Car: Mini Cooper S (John Cooper Works Edition)

Best Old Car Experience: Caterham Lotus 7 SV

Most economical and fun sports car: Lotus Elise

Mid-sized Sedan: BMW M5

Best Car for Old People Who Don’t Give a Damn: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Best SUV: Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Best minivan/mpv (yes, I’m ACTUALLY including this category): Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG