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It’s Official: Bugatti Sucked at Developing Cars

Bugatti’s full potential was never going to be reached under Volkswagen ownership, but Rimac has big plans for the hypercar company

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When it comes to the automotive industry, Rimac’s acquisition of Bugatti is one of the most epic automotive marriages in recent history. Volkswagen owned the French hypercar manufacturer since 1998, but on November 2nd, 2021, the Croatian EV manufacturer, Rimac, officially took custodianship of Bugatti. While this is a great way for both car companies to move forward, Mate Rimac’s other goal for Bugatti is to assume much better control over the development costs, which is something Volkswagen did not manage very well at all.

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Like other carmakers, Bugatti’s transition to electricity is imperative in order for it to be relevant in an all-electric future. While said future is still hypothetical more than anything else, it was clear that Volkswagen was not sure how to go about managing the French car company. The German company’s approach to outsourcing a lot of work helped them avoid investing billions into Bugatti’s transformation into an EV carmaker.

Former Volkswagen CEO, Ferdinand Piech, brought the Bugatti brand into the VAG family. With him no longer with us, Volkswagen faced the choice of either killing off the Bugatti name or selling it in order to avoid the logistical challenges involving the company’s restructuring.

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VW outsourcing much of the work did not aid Bugatti
The former mother company of Bugatti did not want to invest the billions required into restructuring Bugatti into an EV brand

Bugatti, as a company, has had some epic partnerships and we don’t need to mention the fact that some of the fastest cars in the world wear the Bugatti badge, including the Bugatti EB110, which was, sadly, overshadowed by the McLaren F1, in the 1990s. When asked about the hypercar company, Mate Rimac said "On a car-by-car basis, Bugatti is very successful.”, but he has also explained the inefficient approach of Bugatti’s former owner, Volkswagen, towards the hypercar manufacturer.

“People would be surprised how profitable each one is; I certainly was. But it has been less successful in developing cars. It cost them more to create the Bugatti Chiron from the Bugatti Veyron, which has the same W-16 engine and eight-speed gearbox than we spent developing our Rimac Nevera from scratch.”

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From 1998 onward, Bugatti was under the ownership of Volkswagen
However, it was more of an unwanted child in the German concern’s brand portfolio

Rimac’s acquisition of Bugatti is described as a "win-win-win-win" by Rimac Automobili founder, Mate Rimac. The EV start-up manufacturer acquired a company with a 113-year heritage while Porsche, as a member of VAG, owns 45 percent of the Bugatti brand. There were talks about a partnership between Porsche and Rimac for a while and we now know how things are going to work for both companies.

Another "win-win" according to Mate Rimac is that "It’s a win for the employees, because we will expand. And it’s a win for customers because we have exciting new products coming. We won’t just hump along; we will flourish.” The Croatian EV manufacturer has ambitious plans for Bugatti and, more importantly, the resources to "re-arm" Bugatti for the future. Under Rimac’s custodianship, Bugatti will expand and reach new heights compared to Volkswagen’s ownership, where it was more of an unloved child.

Source: Autocar

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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