Volkswagen Thinking About Selling Bugatti to Rimac by the End of the Year
The Volkswagen Group is looking to close the circle of experimentation with the ultra-hyper-car brand that is Bugatti, and pass the ownership of the marque to Rimac.
VW had the rights to Bugatti since 1998, and it did truly amazing things for it by developing the Veyron, and later the Chiron. Both car models stand at the pinnacle of automotive engineering, and while VW was actually selling them for a loss, they played a prestige-raising role for the Germans. In addition to that, they offered a space of experimentation for VW’s engineers to push the boundaries of what’s possible and learn a lot of useful things in the process.
But times have changed for automakers, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced everyone to a new reality. Brands like Bugatti still have a place in their super-niche market, but holding the responsibility of developing new models and keeping the marque alive and active comes at a great cost, and Volkswagen may not want to carry that burden anymore. But why did the Germans choose Rimac, out of all the potential options they had?
Porsche, which is also VW-owned, is a shareholder in Rimac, holding 15.5%. Soon, they will raise that to 49%, so essentially, Bugatti will stay under VW’s umbrella, but it won’t be their responsibility. Secondly, ‘Rimac Automobili’, is a Croatian manufacturer of electric sports cars, drivetrains, and battery systems. The next move for Bugatti could be towards the EV space, and Rimac is the ideal platform to help them get there.
According to rumors, Volkswagen initially tried to offer Bugatti to Gregor Piëch, who wasn’t interested in acquiring the historic marque. Mate Rimac, the owner and founder of Rimac is a man who has the flair to make this work, and so he received the folder next.
After Bugatti is gone, ‘Lamborghini’, ‘Ducati’, ‘Bentley’, and ‘Italdesign’ may follow, as all of these luxury brands are under scrutiny by their owner, Volkswagen. Porsche, Audi, Seat, and VW itself remain at the core of the group, so nothing is expected to change for them in the mid-term future.