Why it’s Good Volkswagen Loses $6.27 Million on Every Bugatti Veyron Sold
When VW Group was engineering the Bugatti Veyron for its 2005 market introduction, they knew the car would be sold at a loss. A recent study by Berstein Research indicates VW Group has sacrificed $6.27 million on every Bugatti Veyron sold.
That sounds pretty awful until you realize that, more than anything, the Veyron was built as a “technical showcase”, or a binge R&D investment for the entire Volkswagen Group. Think of it this way: VW Group built a car five steps ahead of the technology curve, and the discoveries they made in turbocharging, fluid dynamics, weight-savings and other areas were likely invaluable — the DSG transmission came from the Veyron project, by the way. When a company engineers a car that can do 260+ mph, they become better at making one of their fast luxury cars (e.g. Audi RS 7) do 190.
In a nutshell, it’s a question of wanting to spend R&D money evenly across all the group’s cars, or dump most of the R&D costs on a halo car and let the developments trickle down to the lower-priced cars. Volkswagen chose the latter, and got the side benefit of having a hypercar in their portfolio that raises the VW Group’s prestige, much like investment in F1 makes Ferrari more appealing.
A $6.27 million loss per Veyron? Drop in the bucket.