Bugatti is delaying production of a more affordable model, saying its 'utmost priority is on liquidity' amid the pandemic
- Bugatti is delaying its plans to produce a more affordable alternative to its $2.9 million (R48 million) Chiron supercar, according to a report from Automotive News Europe.
- The Volkswagen Group, which owns Bugatti, will focus on conserving cash through at least the rest of the year.
- The new addition to Bugatti's lineup, which isn't happening right now, would be a electric four-seater costing $575,000 (R9.5 million) to $1.15 million (R19 million) according to the report.
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If there's anything the coronavirus pandemic has shown the auto industry, it's that not even ultra-luxury brands like Bugatti can escape the hit - despite selling $3 million cars. Because of that, Automotive News Europe reports that the company's plans to expand its model range are on hold.
Bugatti's plan was to develop a lower-priced alternative to its $2.9 million (R48m million) Chiron supercar, but Automotive News Europe reports that the company isn't certain there will be sufficient demand for a high-priced supercar during the current global downturn - even among the brand's well-off clientele. And as the pandemic continues to batter the automotive industry, the Volkswagen Group - which owns Bugatti and many other brands - plans to save cash at least through the rest of this year, according to the outlet.
For those reasons, the decision of whether to green-light the new-car project has been kicked down the road.
"For the time being we need to put this issue aside," Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann told the outlet. "Given the prevailing economic conditions, our utmost priority is on liquidity."
The new model would be an electric four-seater that would cost somewhere between $575,000 (R9.5 million) and $1.15 million (R19 million), according to statements Winkelmann made back in November.
Winkelmann said the potential addition to Bugatti's lineup would not, however, be an SUV - a popular move in the industry right now, given the body style's booming sales. In an effort to boost sales and stay relevant as SUVs grow in popularity, other high-end carmakers including Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini have all jumped on the SUV trend.
The delay of Bugatti's new model is yet another example of how even luxury brands aren't immune to the downturn. In early June, Aston Martin and Bentley - another Volkswagen Group brand - announced drastic cuts to their respective workforces. Aston Martin said it intended to lay off 500 workers, while Bentley announced plans to slash 1,000 jobs - almost a quarter of its employees.