Bad News: There is No Next Bugatti
Whether it is a change of course or it’s getting ready to be sold, Bugatti announced there will be no next hypercar. The car that was being developed as a companion to the Chiron has been nixed as the Coronavirus claims another victim. “We had talks about a second-model lineup,” Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann said. “This was now blocked due to the coronavirus crisis; we’re not talking about what’s coming next.”
This may be a reaction to where the world will be after the pandemic has a vaccine rather than because of current sales. It may be eyeing electric cars being what drives the hypercar segment. Right now Bugatti has no electric car nor even a hybrid.
If Bugatti wants to be top dog its next model needs to be electric
And if you want to be the top dog you need an electric option. Cars like the upcoming Lotus Evija are talking about almost 2,000 hp from its all-electric package. The Chiron, by contrast, has 1,500. While extremely impressive, it places it on a lower tier.
This may also be positioning it for rumored suitor Rimac Automobili. Rimac produces EV components and is developing its own hypercar. The Volkswagen Group, which owns Bugatti, is looking to possibly off the manufacturer to Rimac as soon as next month. Rimac makes some of the components used in the Porsche Taycan, and Porsche has a 15% stake in the company.
According to Bloomberg, this may be Bugatti’s best year for sales. In spite of the coronavirus, all of this year’s and most of next year’s Bugatti production has already been sold. Winkleman told Bloomberg, “This gives us peace of mind.”
If the next Bugatti was to be all-electric it aligns with Rimac’s strength
However, when asked about the possible sale to Rimac Winkleman would not comment. If the Rimac rumors are true then it is acquiring a company that is thriving as opposed to contracting. And because the next Bugatti was expected to be all-electric it aligns with Rimac’s strength as a high-performance EV component manufacturer.
Where we are seeing contraction is with European auto manufacturers as a whole. Mercedes just announced that it will no longer develop and produce its lower-end A- and B-class vehicles. It felt like it was developing too many cars for too many markets. It wants to concentrate on the higher E- and S-class models. Cutting the lower segments gives them more capital to divert to electricity and autonomous technology. The possible sale of Bugatti and Lamborghini, both owned by the Volkswagen Group, would be a different approach to a similar need.
Bugatti prices suggest there should be a lot of margin from each one sold
There are currently two models in the Bugatti lineup; the Chiron and Divo. The list price for a Chiron runs between $3,000,000 and $4,500,000. The Divo tops out at $5,800,000. So, those prices suggest that there should be a lot of margin from each one sold. That, in turn, means Bugatti should be doing well, especially with almost all of its production for this year and next already sold.