Bugatti - Manufacturer of Fastest Cars in the World

Bharath Bharath
Jul 14, 2022 11 min read
Bugatti - Manufacturer of Fastest Cars in the World

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Bugatti.

We have all grown up seeing pictures of various luxury cars. We have admired them, fascinated them and wished to own them someday. They are not such easy-buy vehicles. The price they come at is not affordable for the majority of our country's population. This is one of the main reasons that we are unable to locate any of such premium brand cars on our roads. Another primary reason is the infrastructure facilities in our country.

Certain brands like Rolls-Royce, Audi, Benz, BMW, etc. are being designed suitably for the Indian market. But some premium car models and brands are either not affordable or banned from running on Indian roads. One such premium luxury car brand is Bugatti.

Though Bugatti's presence in the Indian market is minimal or almost nil, the company's cars are popular in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Bugatti has more than a century-long history that dates back to the early 1900s. This article covers the complete story of Bugatti right from even before its inception in 1909, its growth, change of ownership, competition and its current status in the world market.

Bugatti - Company Highlights

Company Name Bugatti
Headquarters Molsheim, France
Industry Automotive
Founded 1909
Founder Ettore Bugatti
CEO Mate Rimac
Owner Volkswagen (1998-2021), Rimac Automobili (2021-Present)
Website bugatti.com

Bugatti - About
Bugatti - Industry
Bugatti - Founder and Team
Bugatti - Startup Story
Bugatti - Name and Logo
Bugatti - Challenges Faced
Bugatti - Mergers and Demergers
Bugatti - Growth and Timeline
Bugatti - Competitors
Bugatti - Future Plans

Story of Bugatti

Bugatti - About

Bugatti is a luxury car manufacturer that was established in 1909 in Molsheim, France. The artistic designs and engineering of automobiles are what Bugatti is known for. Besides, it is also well-known for its sports cars. These cars were extraordinarily well-performing and gained a reputation as one of the most successful racing car brands in the world.

The Bugatti Type 35 model held the crown in the sports car category in the mid-1920s. The Bugatti Veyron model, which gained huge popularity in the early 2000s, remained the fastest car in the world with a speed of 410 kmph for many years. Bugatti is extremely focused on its design and speed which remains uncompromisable for anything.

Bugatti - Industry

The automotive industry involves the manufacturing and marketing of engines, motor vehicles and other related components. It is highly competitive and is one of the largest industries in the world in terms of revenue. As per the statistical reports, China has always led the automotive industry in production and distribution. This industry was on consistent growth in the pre-covid era. In 2017, automobile sales were at a peak and a total of 80 million units were sold during the year. But, the Covid pandemic has stumbled the industry, including China, and is now slowly recovering from its fall.

Bugatti - Founder and Team

Bugatti has been under various leaderships over its 113 years of existence. There have been several people who played a significant role in the growth of the company. The following are the founder and a few other key people of Bugatti during its early stages and present times:

Ettore Bugatti

Ettore Bugatti - Founder of Bugatti
Ettore Bugatti - Founder of Bugatti

Ettore Bugatti was an automobile Engineer and the founder of Bugatti. Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti is his full name and was born on 15 September 1881, in Milan, Italy. His interest in automobile designing and engineering came from his father who was a designer himself in the field of jewelry and furniture and his grandfather who happened to be an architect and a sculptor. He started building prototypes for automobiles right from his late teens and finally established the brand Bugatti in 1909. Ettore Bugatti passed away in August 1947 in France.

Jean Bugatti

Jean Bugatti is the eldest son of Ettore Bugatti and was born in Cologne on 15th January 1909. It was the year of the establishment of Bugatti and the family moved to Molsheim soon after he was born. He naturally got imbibed into the company. Jean served as the test engineer and designer for most of Bugatti's cars between 1926 and 1939. He created some exceptional designs along with his father and laid a fantastic pathway for the company's growth. Jean Bugatti died in August 1939 in an accident that occurred while test driving one of the automobile prototypes.

Stephan Winkelmann

Stephan Winklemann was the CEO of Bugatti automobiles, between 2018 and 2021, when the company remained a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group. He was born in 1964 and is a graduate of Political Science. Winklemann started his career as a sales representative of Mercedes Benz and worked in a couple of automobile companies in higher positions. His experience and knowledge in the automobile sector made him the President and CEO of Lamborghini in 2005. He served this position for 11 years before becoming the CEO of Audi in 2016. Stephan Winklemann was again made the Chairman and CEO of Lamborghini in 2020.

Mate Rimac

Mate Rimac is a young entrepreneur from Croatia who is the founder of an electric sports car company named Rimac Automobili. His entrepreneurial and innovative skills attracted many big companies like Porsche, Camel Group, Hyundai, etc. to invest in his company. He recently made an affiliation between his company and Porsche to bring in Bugatti under their joint venture Bugatti Rimac. Mate Rimac is currently the CEO of this new company.


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Bugatti - Startup Story

The seed for Bugatti automobiles was sown with the birth of Ettore Bugatti in 1881. His artistic family background engulfed him in the areas of designing and engineering. As a result, Ettore entered an apprenticeship program in a bicycle company named, Prinetti & Stucchi in 1898. He was captivated by the technology and engineering behind motors. This encouraged him to develop a motor tricycle and even participate in some races with those developments.

Then, Ettore Bugatti started making cars and exhibited them at the Milan International Exhibition in 1901. He won an award for his Type 2 Model which he joined hands with the Gulinelli brothers to make it. But the rights to manufacture the model were lost due to the death of one of the Gulinelli brothers and Ettore was too young to sign a deal. Later, he gained his way into the firm that earlier got the rights for manufacturing Ettore's cars in 1902. Since he was underage, all the agreements were signed by Ettore’s father Carlo Bugatti.

Ettore later designed cars for various manufacturers in the next few years and finally decided to start his own company in 1909. As a result, Bugatti Automobiles was born in 1909 with the support of Pierre de Vizcaya and Darmstadter Bank. The company’s first project was to manufacture five airplane engines and ten cars.

Bugatti Logo
Bugatti Logo

The name ‘Bugatti’ was derived from the name of its founder Ettore Bugatti. It is the surname of the family. The logo of Bugatti comes in a red oval with ‘BUGATTI’ written in the middle. This oval is surrounded by a white outline that comprises 60 red dots in it. This logo was designed by Ettore’s father Carlo Bugatti who is a jewelry designer. The logo itself looks like a fine jewel. It also carries the symbol ‘EB’ with an inverted E that represents Ettore Bugatti.

Bugatti - Challenges Faced

The following are the challenges faced by Bugatti over the years:

  1. The first major challenge faced by Bugatti after WW1 was a labor strike in 1936. Ettore Bugatti always used to take good care of his employees and hence, he considered this labor strike a personal insult. The issue was resolved but Ettore started distancing himself from the workers and the Molsheim factory.
  2. The next big hit happened in 1939. Jean Bugatti, who played a key role in the company, was killed in an accident during a test drive. The entire company was stunned by his death as there was none left to take the company forward after Ettore. To make this worse, WW2 began a few days later and Bugatti was forced to be sold to an entrepreneur from Germany by the government. Bugatti automobiles were never the same after the above two incidents.
  3. Even after the war, when Ettore Bugatti got the company back, he couldn’t re-establish the business due to insufficient funds. The issues made his health deteriorate and he died in August 1947.
  4. The appointed Managing Director took over the company after Ettore but couldn’t run it efficiently. As a result, the production of Bugatti came to a halt in 1956.
  5. Later, the company was taken over by a Spanish automobile maker. Even then, Bugatti was forced to cease its operation in 1995 due to unsaid reasons and later was acquired by Volkswagen in 1998.

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Bugatti - Mergers and Demergers

Bugatti Automobiles went through different management and mergers over the years. The first of those came in 1948, right after the death of Ettore Bugatti. Ettore's heirs appointed Pierre Marco as the Managing Director of Bugatti. But, within three years, another son of Ettore, Roland Bugatti, took over the management.

In 1963, a Spanish-based automobile manufacturer Hispano-Suiza purchased the company. It was later renamed as Messier-Bugatti and continued production.

Romano Artioli, a car dealer and entrepreneur, acquired the rights for the trademark of Bugatti in 1987 and operated it under the name ‘Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. But this company ceased operations in 1995 and the rights for the production of the sports car EB 110 were acquired by Dauer Racing GmbH.

Finally, in 1998, Volkswagen purchased Bugatti and brought it under its portfolio. It was then the company launched some of its successful models like Veyron, Chiron and Divo. But Bugatti left Volkswagen in November 2021 to join hands with Rimac Automobili and Porsche to form a new company ‘Bugatti Rimac’. Rimac controls 55% of the shares while Porsche has the rest in this new venture. All its future operations are expected to happen under this new management.

Bugatti - Growth and Timeline

Bugatti Growth | Number of Deliveries of Bugatti Cars
Number of Deliveries of Bugatti Cars | Bugatti Growth

Though the company was established only in 1909, Ettore Bugatti entered the industry in 1901 with the Type 2 model. He later built the first race car, Type 5, in 1903 which was a chain-driven model with a tubular chassis frame. Ettore started making advanced modeled cars from the previous versions for Mathis and Deutz in 1905 and 1907 respectively. Then came the birth of his own brand Bugatti in 1909 in Molsheim, France.

As the years passed, Bugatti came up with new and advanced models of cars at regular intervals. The company kept innovating and enhancing its automobiles and took part in various international motor car races. In 1913, Peugeot Bebe, a four-cylinder car was launched by Bugatti that reached a top speed of 60 kmph. It is one of the largest produced cars by the company in terms of units at that time. It was followed by ‘Type 13 Brescia’ which remained successful until 1926.

By 1915, Bugatti started manufacturing airplane engines as a result of the First World War. The company broke and created many records in various Grand Prix races in the next couple of decades. With the launch of every new model, there came some enhancement and advanced technological inducement in the vehicles.

1926 marked the dream-come-true moment for Bugatti when it launched its first most luxurious car named ‘Royale’. The company then entered the manufacture of high-speed trains and launched its prototype in 1932. The trial run was made by Jean Bugatti and a record was created at a speed of 166 kmph.

Beginning in 1939 Bugatti faced a series of struggles and changes in management until the end of the 20th century. Except for some race victories and a few models the company faced a severe downfall. It was only in 2001, after the launch of the Bugatti Veyron prototype, that the brand started regaining its image. It refurbished its head office in Molsheim, renamed it ‘The Atelier’ and started manufacturing Veyrons. It turned out to be the fastest car in the world. Now, ‘Bugatti Chiron’ is the most popular, fastest and most successful model of the company.

Despite the struggles Bugatti faced after WW2, it has never lost its brand reputation. The company has always stuck to its quality, design, innovation and speed under any circumstance. They have played a major role in Bugatti's growth and will continue its streak in its new joint venture 'Bugatti Rimac'.

Bugatti - Competitors

There are many premium and elegant car manufacturers in the market around the world. Therefore, there is plenty of competition available for Bugatti. Here are some of the top competitors of the company:

Maserati

Maserati is a luxury automobile manufacturer based in Modena, Italy. This company is known for its reliability, luxury and speed. Maserati was started in 1914 during the beginning of WW1. It was earlier a subsidiary of Ferrari and is currently owned by Stellantis since 2021. Ghibli and Alfieri are some of the popular models produced by Maserati.

Ferrari

Ferrari is another company based in Italy that was established in 1947. It manufactures luxury road and sports cars that have a fantastic brand reputation from the people. Ferrari manufactures elegant and expensive cars that have taken part in and won various racing events like Formula One.

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a subsidiary of BMW that manufactures extreme luxury road cars. The company is based in the UK and has a history that dates back to 1906. Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom series cars are very popular and are known for their astounding looks and sophisticated experience.

Bugatti - Future Plans

Since Rimac is a manufacturer of electric vehicles, Bugatti Rimac is on a path towards electric and hybrid cars. The CEO Mate Rimac announced that the successor of Bugatti Chiron would be all-electric. He also said that the company is into the production of Bugatti Bolide which might be released later in 2022. A teasing image describing all the above announcements was released by the company. Since it is a newly formed venture, its long-term plans and goals related to various aspects of the business are yet to be announced.

FAQs

When was Bugatti founded?

Bugatti was founded in 1909 in Molsheim, France.

Who is the owner of Bugatti?

Rimac Automobili is the owner of Bugatti.

Who is the founder of Bugatti?

Ettore Bugatti is the founder of Bugatti.

What are the top models of Bugatti?

Top models of Bugatti are:

  • Bugatti Chiron
  • Bugatti Veyron
  • Bugatti La Voiture Noire
  • Bugatti Divo
  • Bugatti Centodieci

Who are the top competitors of Bugatti?

Top competitors of Bugatti are:

  • Maserati
  • Ferrari
  • Rolls-Royce

What is the revenue of Bugatti?

Revenue for Bugatti is estimated to reach $89.79 million in 2022.

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