The future of Bugatti, maker of the worlds fastest, most expensive car and subsidiary of Volkswagen, Europe?s largest carmaker and manufacturer of quality VW car accessories such as VW cargo mat—has become uncertain with the resignation of its president, Thomas Bscher.
Thomas Bscher is a wealthy German banker who brought the extraordinary Bugatti Veyron to the market. He was also a former GT racing champion and owner of a McLaren F1, the predecessor of Veyron as the world?s fastest car has given Bscher the credibility that he needs for his project. His contacts and reputation were responsible for many of the 145 sales so far, at a pretax price of ?1.2m (?800,000).
The revival of the popular prewar Bugatti marque was the idea of Ferdinand Piech who was then the Chief Executive of Volkswagen. Meeting the request of the Volkswagen CEO to enable the 8-liter turbocharged engine to rev up 1,000bhp and obtain a top speed of 250 mph has become a difficult challenge for VW?s engineers, which have resulted for the Veyron to suffer several setbacks before it was finally made ready for production at the end of 2005.
It was in year 2003 when Bernd Pischetsrieder, Piech?s successor has appointed Bscher to head the development of Bugatti as VW?s exclusive super-premium brand. Bscher was working on two ideas for a second model ? a four-seater using the Veyron?s 16-cylinder engine and a technically sophisticated lightweight sports car that would be the 21st-century equivalent of the classic 1920s Type 35.
Unfortunately the ousting of Pischetsrieder last November has left Bscher without any hope for a second model. This is also one of the reasons why Bscher resigned as president. The management of Bugatti has not made an official statement on the matter. Veyron production continue as planned—there have been 60 Bugattis delivered plus orders for a further 85 and it is expected that a total of 300 cars would be completed by 2010.
However, commentators could sense that somehow the decision of not to proceed with a second Bugatti is influenced by Porsche. It is no secret that Porsche has increased its stakes in Volkswagen making it as the major stockholder of Europe?s largest automaker. And as a major stockholder Porsche is given controlling powers over the affairs of Volkswagen. Add to it the fact that Ferdinand Piech, major Porsche shreholder is now the Chairman of VW?s supervisory board. There are rumors circulating within the company saying that Piech may want for future flagship cars to carry the Porsche badge instead of the Bugatti.