Bye, bye Veyron!

Volkswagen has apparently pulled the plug on Veyron production, after selling a grand total of 450 cars during the Bugatti’s10 year production run.
According to Business Week, VW lost $5.2 million on each Veyron, due to the incredibly-high development and production costs.

Here is an article with some additional information:

Did they really lose money? On the surface, yes. But it could be considered as advertising. In that light, it is cheap advertising; the Veyron was a halo car. I doubt it influenced VW buyers much, but it could have influenced Audi, Lamborghini, and maybe even Bentley buyers. I’ve ehard that Chevrolet loses money on Corvettes, but that is GMs version of a halo car. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ford GT in all of its incarnations lost money on each sale.

I agree that every major car company need a “halo” car to polish its image. Mercedes probably loses money on their gull wing sports cars, but it makes the mark look great.

However, I also believe that the Veyron was a little too extreme and even rich Hollywood stars would probably be hesitant to drive one. Bugatti, like Deusenberg in the USA, was a creme de la crème vehicle, and few were sold.

The Ford GT comes closer to being a good image car.

I think that a “halo” car needs to be closely associated with that car maker’s other products, and that includes having the same logo on the fender.
How many buyers of Veyrons were even aware that the company is owned by VW?
And, conversely, how many buyers of VWs are aware that VW owns Bugatti?

Just as owners of Bentleys would probably like to forget that their cars are modified versions of the unsuccessful VW Phaeton, I doubt that Veyron owners want to associate their cars with VW in their own minds.

I’m not sure the Veyron was intended as a halo car for VW… I suspect it was intended as a halo car for Bugatti. And I suspect it might have been aimed at European collectors rather than Hollywood stars. I’m guessing, of course. There’s no way to really know what was in their management’s minds.

Simon Cowell drives a Veyron. I’m guessing that if a list of Veyron owners was available few of the names would be American.

Well, darn. It looks like I missed out on the opportunity to own a Veyron. Oh well! Even if I was in a position to buy one, I would probably have blown the money on something like this Mustang.

What they should have done is just keep a few. They were expensive when they were available. Now they’re a collector’s item. Wait 10 years and sell them for $10M or more a pop. Yes, I realize they won’t recoup their production costs that way, but I also agree that they were good advertising for the VW brand in much the same way that building a V10 motorcycle was for Chryco.

Halo cars don’t always have to be about the brand. They can be about the technology. If VW played this right, everything they learned on this technical marvel will be used down the line on VW, Audi and Porsche cars. This is what all automakers TRY to do. The Corvette engineers migrate to the next Cruze, the Mustang Shelby folks work on the next Fusion and so on.

That is how we got things like ABS, electronic shocks, stability control, touch-screen systems and the like across most all cars. Gen 2 is cheaper than Gen 1, Gen 3 is cheapest yet. Technology marches on.

I think that all Veyron owners know that it is a division of VW. I agree that the converse is probably not true, but that doesn’t really mean anything. We can likely find plenty of Ford owners that never heard of the GT either, or the Cobra Mustang. To me, all that shows is that there are people that are not interested in the automobile hobby that own cars.

The Phaeton was not a success in the US, but it is still sold in the rest of the world. My wife’s cousing lives in Germany, and he was quite smitten by the Phaeton, saying if he could afford it, he would buy one. Note too that BMW and Mercedes Benz sell non-luxury cars in Europe, and the Phaeton does not have to overcome that perception problem in those markets. I’d say the VW Phaeton is successful, just on markets that don’t hold car brand against it.

The big advantage to limited production cars is that the carmaker gets to try out new technologies on a few buyers. If it works, it finds its way down to the mass produced cars, and if it doesn’t, you only piss off a few customers.

Wait 10 years and sell them for $10M or more a pop.

Only if you can find a buyer willing to pay that price.

I can’t imagine a more un-liquid investment.

I’ll go a little off-topic . . .

I don’t really like the whole idea of “collector” cars

In my opinion, vehicles should be driven fairly regularly

You know the Veyron is only going to be driven a few times a year . . .

Going to the most exclusive restaurant in a big city
Going to car shows

That’s not regular driving in my book

Somebody mentioned the Duesenberg . . . I’ll bet you lunch, even when that car was new, it wasn’t driven much, except to brag and show off, occasionally.

It’ll be the same thing with the Veyron, and any other number of collector cars

And I suspect some buyers of these collector cars buy them because they like the idea of people ogling the car, on the occasion that they do drive it. yup, it serves to inflate their ego

Yeah, but anyone that owns a Veyron has several cars. They can’t drive everything all the time. And I bet that most of the Veron owners put in most of their miles in the back seat.

Back seat?

I’m struck by both the absence of coffee cup holders and a gun rack, to take your James Purdey and Sons “Royal” grade shotgun to the skeet range.

@jtsanders I’m well aware of the the fact that people with the wealth to buy a Veyron have an entire stable of vehicles

That doesn’t change the way I feel about it

A Veyron is a vehicle which is supposed to flaunt your wealth

Sure, it’s also a technological marvel, I suppose, but it’s really just there to keep your ego inflated

Back seat of their limousine. Did I really have to spell it out? More like this, smart guy.

“What they should have done is just keep a few. They were expensive when they were available. Now they’re a collector’s item. Wait 10 years and sell them for $10M or more a pop”

A car like the Veryon is worth money as a result of its being “the fastest production street vehicle.” I DON’T see anybody paying Veryon bucks for any car that “USED to be the fastest car, a few decades ago.” As soon as a supercar is made that exceeds the Veryon in performance, the Veryon’s value will plummet.

OTOH, something like the Gallardo–exclusive but never making the claim as fastest anything–doesn’t have to worry about technological displacement.

Do the manufacturers have to crash-test these super-expensive, super low-production cars to make sure they meet safety standards or do they get a pass on that…??

While I can’t find a link to that type of info, I do recall reading that they “get a pass”.