Exotic car manufacturers have a lot easier time surviving when they are under a huge corporate umbrella. Bugatti is such a manufacturer, owned by the Volkswagen Group, which also happens to own Lamborghini (and is adding Porsche to the mix).
No expense was spared in developing the Veyron – it was designed to be the world’s fastest car, bar none. It hasn’t exactly been a huge profit maker either – more like a gigantic corporate ego trip. The Veyron had an allotment of 300 units, the last of which was sold in September 2011.
Bugatti pulled a clever hat trick by introducing the convertible Grand Sport though. That car was considered as a separate run of 150 units, enabling Bugatti to continue having a model to sell. As the Veyron neared its September end run, that was a looming issue.
The 16C Galibier isn’t ready yet, and it would be highly unusual for the brand to not have any cars on the market until it goes on sale. Interestingly enough, Ricardo has released information about a large purchase of transmissions by Bugatti.
The amount of transmissions isn’t documented, but Ricardo notes that it is for “two years worth.” The units are the same seven-speed dual-clutch unit from the Veyron. Two years? The Grand Sport’s run should be out before then, unless it sells extremely slowly.
There a few different reasons that have been speculated about – a high failure rate on the trannies (which we probably would have heard about by now) and the the desire to have more parts on hand, but the purchase seems highly unusual. Especially since it was announced in a press release.
Mark Barge, director at Ricardo, had this to say: “We look forward to two further very successful years in the story of this truly great automobile with its advanced Ricardo transmission.”
When Bugatti released yet another special edition Veyron at the Qatar Auto Show earlier this week, we speculated that Bugatti may pull out a Veyron shooting brake or something to extend the run yet again. While it was a joke, maybe it isn’t too far from reality……we’ll have to wait and see.