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Thomas Bscher wanted to see the Bugatti range expand. He had taken charge of the über-premium brand during the tenure of Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, the former head of the Volkswagen Group. But when Pischetsrieder was replaced by Audi chief Dr. Martin Winterkorn, plans changed.

Evidently failing to realize his goals of broadening the Bugatti range beyond the Veyron, Bscher opted to resign from his post. Taking his place will be a fellow brand manager from VW's de facto premium auto group, Franz-Josef Paefgen, who will reportedly take on the management of Bugatti in addition to Bentley, the Volkswagen subsidiary over which he currently presides. Whether this will be an interim role or a more permanent arrangement remains to be seen, but with the same man controlling both brands, Bugatti isn't prone to pose a threat to Bentley's stature at the top of the corporate luxury hierarchy.

This management shift pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin of any future Bugatti model, whatever shape it might have taken. Porsche AG, a major shareholder in the VW Group that had voiced its opposition to any expansion of the Bugatti brand, just might get its wish.

[Source: Der Spiegel (tr.) via German Car Scene]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm guessing he's leaving because he's accomplished his goal of earning enought to buy an extra vowel for his name.

      "Pat Sajak, I'd like to buy something with an umlaut."

      No seriously, this is sad. Definitely the final death nell for the Bugatti revival. It really seemed like the global market was ripe for this marque. I don't know about a baby Veyron to go up a gainst the 911 or F430 as some conjectured, but surely they could have done well with a luxury sedan aimed at the Phantom and Maybach. With the 3,000th Phantom just sold, this market seems like a no brainer and is completely in keeping with the Bugatti legacy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Gordon Murray is a great engineer, but he is protecting his Mclaren F1... which is itself an insane and extreme racing car, with gold plated exaust pipes... So he lost and argument there.

      The Bugatti is a civilized, confortable, luxury GT, with more than 1000hp, hadrly the same thing the McLaren was... So Murray lost another argument here...

      I respect him a lot, and I understand his declarations, but I take it with a big grain of salt.

      This Bugatti is as insane and extreme and useless as many Bugattis were before him: so what's the fuss? The car industry never was about domestic appliances. Otherwise, all of us would be driving the original Beetle.

      About your considerations about the Veyron techonology, they are the product of a very uninformed commenter.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3 Those comments were made before Gordon had a chance to even try out the final product. When he did, he was quite impressed with it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think you are taking this too seriously: we are just talking about cars...

      I agree with much of what you say, and I don't see how it goes agains what I previously said...

      But I have to comment on some of your affirmations.

      The McLaren was, in many ways, the Bugatti of it's era: that's why Murray shouldn't criticize so much, because he made an equally extreme move for only a few Km/h more.

      McLaren lost because time goes by, and the Bugatti will eventually loose to someone: I think this concept is quite straight-forward.

      If the company is arrogant or not... I'm guessing you have a particular problem with Bugatti or VW, because you seem to be so emotional about it... So I won't even comment on your inflamed opinion.

      About he competition you mencioned: the Chrysler ME412 is just a concept and it's figures are marketing estimatives; the Hennassey Viper is a tunner car, not a production car; the Bristol Fighter R is still nothing more than an intention, and the Koinegsegg is a great car but, as all the other cars you mencioned (except the Chrysler) are pratically racing cars, with no use in a regular road.

      As you know, the Bugatti isn't just a fast car: it's a very luxurious and confortable car, made for cruising in the european speedways.

      That beeing said, you can see it reaching quietly it's top speed, racing amazingly fast on track, and read the many raving reviews about the Bugatti, including comparitions against other supercars, present and past, including the McLaren F1. And you will see that it's not fat, lazy, and doesn't handle like a wheelchair.

      Just Google it or Youtube it.

      Arrogant or not, they had the biggest budget and the best engineers: is it so hard to believe they made a good car? (In fact, not good: surreal, as were other Bugattis in their times).

      About the Mclaren F1 being developed by the F1 team: that's just a childish mith: many of those engineeres had an F1 background, it's true, but it wasn't the F1 team.

      I don't know if I know much about cars, and you are intitled to your opinions... but you shouldn't be such a fundamentalist and, at least, check things up before commenting with all that strength.

      And it's very easy to understand that the Bugatti never was intented to compete with sports supercars, but with small jets or yacths...
      • 8 Years Ago
      #4 tiago do vale- Serious what are you on about mate, do you even have a clue about cars?

      First off How has Mclaren lost? Considering they come out and made the f1 the fastest car in the world for 10 years without anyone even getting close.

      Second thing is that Gordan murray is right. The bugatti was made by a arrogant company. It seriously tells you how crap a company is when they have almost double the BHP as a Mclaren F1 and only 10mph higher top speed.

      Third thing is that the Mclaren F1 had no competition for 10 years straight. The buggati on the other hand has many inncluding a derestricted - Hennassey Viper, Bristol Fighter R, new upcoming Koinegsegg, hell even the Chrysler ME412.

      One last thing is that Gordon murray had the right idea. The Mclaren F1 was light and powerful like a f1 car. The Buggati is fat and lazy and probably handle like a wheelchair. The fact that the F1 has been designed by a Formula 1 team to handle like a Formula 1 car says alot more then being designed by a aggrogant control freak going by the name of Ferdinand Peich in pursuit of top speed only.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ohhh and before people rattle off that bugatti is unprofitable as what porsche are claiming, i do believe much of the expensive uber engineering involved will end up being filtered down to lesser brands within the VW range,

      Thus decreasing the cost of engineering other new vehicles in the vw range so that offsets bugatti's direct losses.

      Is it just me or does anyone else see that Bugatti is a halo and bright engineering spark that gives the VW range an enormous pool of technology to draw on?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just cried a little bit inside.

      Unfortunately i didnt believe it when it was said that porsche would try to kill off bugatti, i figured hey its owned by the huge VW monster so even if bugatti steals sales from porsche it will still lead to money heading back into the same cookie jar. But damn those germans are an ideological bunch!

      Bugatti should be sold off asap to another company willing to put it back on the podium!

      • 8 Years Ago
      They're not creating new technology @ Bugatti. They're just using existing ideas to cure asinine decisions made by Pischetsrieder. i.e. TEN radiators? What in the hell... They should've been creating new hypercooling technology, not adding 500 lbs of water and piping. Also, the fact that you need to put the car into *lame mode* by retracting all wings and spoilers to achieve its top speed makes it even less impressive.

      Gordon Murray put it the best:
      "The most pointless exercise on the planet has got to be this four-wheel-drive 1000 horsepower Bugatti. I think it’s incredibly childish this thing people have about just one element—top speed or standing kilometre or 0-60. It’s about as narrow minded as you can get as a car designer to pick on one element. It’s like saying we’re going to beat the original Mini because we’re going to make a car 10 mph faster on its top speed—but it's two foot longer and 200 kilos heavier. That’s not car designing—that just reeks of a company who are paranoid."