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 Post subject: Selling Bugatti Veyron
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:26 am 
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Selling the Bugatti Veyron
Stephan Wilkinson, 02.23.09, 06:00 PM EST
Forbes Magazine

It would be easy now to dismiss the Bugatti Veyron, introduced to a dropped-jaw automotive world in October 2005, as a spectacular case of bad timing. In a different economic clime--try to recall the go-go days of its debut--a 253-mph, eight-liter, 16-cylinder, four-turbocharger, 1,001-horsepower two-seater with a sticker price of 1.1 million ($1.5 million at current rates) could be seen as a bull market totem. It certainly would have been a more sensible purchase than, say, blowing $6,000 on a shower curtain. After all, the Veyron is unique: It's the quickest, fastest, and strongest gas-engine production car that's ever been sold. (It may be the most impractical, too. Off to Big Sur for the weekend? You'll need a chase Mercedes to carry your luggage, as the trunk is barely big enough for a large gym bag.) It is definitely the most expensive: During the foreseeable life of fossil fuels and engines that burn them, no company will ever again see a reason to spend a reported $1.7 billion that Volkswagen (other-otc: VLKAF.PK - news - people )--which today owns the Bugatti brand--withdrew from its ample vaults to create the Veyron. To create, in fact, just 450 of them: 300 coupes and 150 open-top Grand Sport roadsters.

There are executives at VW who think the organization was certifiably insane to do it. "No toys, anymore." Wendelin Wiedeking, CEO of Porsche (other-otc: PSEPF.PK - news - people ), announced recently when his company bought majority ownership of Volkswagen/Audi. They have been seconded by a chorus of outsiders. "The most pointless exercise on the planet has got to be this four-wheel-drive, thousand-horsepower Bugatti," said McLaren F1 supercar designer Gordon Murray while the car was being developed. I agreed: The Veyron was arrogant and conspicuously useless, and I turned down a chance to drive the car when it was introduced in the United States.


Yet perhaps the men who championed the Veyron's development, chief among them the car's godfather, Ferdinand Piech, then VW/Audi chairman, and his successor, Bernd Pischetsrieder, weren't quixotic after all. Bugatti is actually selling this car while the bull is being carved into flank steak.

"Even with current economic conditions, I'm still seeing the same number of new deposits as I did last year at this time," said John Hill, Bugatti's market manager for the Americas, in late October, although when contacted again at the end of January, he conceded that there has since been a moderate dropoff. "I'm not going to say the market hasn't affected us," admits Alasdair Stewart, Bugatti's director of sales and marketing, "but we're not desperate. We only build cars for customer orders, not for stock, and we currently have a healthy order bank of over a year's time." By the end of last year, Volkswagen had delivered 200 Veyrons, 71 of them in 2008.

The reasons a car like this still sells in times like these say a lot about the very rich and about Volkswagen's shrewd way of approaching them. It starts with the act of purchase. For you don't buy a Bugatti Veyron; you apply for one, a process akin to being vetted for a Cabinet position. Certainly Bugatti will bank the sultan of Brunei's ???300,000 deposit quicker than this monster-car accelerates from zero to 60 (2.48 seconds), but if you're Charlie Car-Guy from California, not so fast. Bugatti submits your name to a French security firm for a thorough background check to see if you're really a player.

The vetting stops short of serious financial espionage but probes the potential client's car-collecting as well as his liquidity and assumed worth. It's quite possible that Bugatti also wants to identify potential "flippers," speculators who buy a car but never take delivery. Instead, they resell it, at a handsome profit, to somebody who doesn't want to stand in line for a year to receive a Veyron.

This may add to the Veyron's aura, but it's a function of the sales effort, too. In the United States, virtually all of Bugatti's marketing budget goes not to advertising, promotion, or PR but to shipping its three demonstrators right to the driveways of legitimate prospects and paying a top race-car driver--for example, Le Mans competitor Butch Leitzinger--to show off the car.

FORBES.COM

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 Post subject: Re: Selling Bugatti Veyron
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:23 am 
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Great article. Thanks for posting it. It is superb that Bugatti is still going strong :D

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 Post subject: Re: Selling Bugatti Veyron
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:17 am 
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Location: Molsheim - France
A new sell list :

http://www.jameslist.com/advert/35771#(F=(T=|tab1|))

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