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VW in Talks to Sell Bugatti Brand

Volkswagen is in talks to sell its supercar brand Bugatti to Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, Manager Magazin said on Thursday citing people familiar with the talks.

The sale to Mate Rimac will be discussed by Volkswagen’s committees this year, Manager Magazin said.

Bugatti, Mate Rimac and Volkswagen declined to comment.

Rimac has developed an electric supercar platform, which he supplies to other carmakers, including Automobili Pininfarina. Volkswagen unit Porsche owns a stake in Rimac.

Bugatti Type 13 Brescia Sport-Racing, 1922

Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer of high-performance automobiles, founded in 1909 in the then-German city of Molsheim, Alsace by the Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti. The cars were known for their design beauty and for their many race victories. Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 “Royale”, the Type 57 “Atlantic” and the Type 55 sports car.

Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in 1909 in Molsheim located in the Alsace region which was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1919. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic manner in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore’s family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (1856–1940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer).

Ettore Bugatti in 1932

The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean Bugatti in 1939 ensured there was not a successor to lead the factory. No more than about 8,000 cars were made. The company struggled financially, and released one last model in the 1950s, before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in 1963.

In 1987, an Italian entrepreneur bought the brand and revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars based in Modena.

In 1998, the Volkswagen Group bought the rights to the Bugatti marque and set up a subsidiary based back in Molsheim, Alsace.

But, any moment from now, Bugatti might change hands. What eventually becomes of the brands famous image, time will tell.

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