In 2004, my bosses in the Lancaster family, at H R Owen Bentley in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, Central London, instructed me to contact Bugatti, go and visit them, and work out how we could do business with them. Representation was available to us. So I made the call & made that visit … –
And in four years , we sold 42 of the new remarkable million-pound Bugatti Veyrons; more than any other dealership in the World, outside of the factory. It was a remarkable time … & one of which I am very proud.
Looking back, the reasons were relatively simple. First, by that time, I had good experience of how a relatively specialist market worked (ex-Porsche, – McLaren & – Lamborghini – in terms of showroom sales & facilities). Secondly when I visited Bugatti for the first time, the news of this fantastic supercar was beginning to get out. I was met and introduced to their exquisite atelier and the car by Christophe Pionchon (now their General Manager). I didn’t even need to drive it (but I did). So I was immediately aware of just how special this car was both in terms of it’s technical specification, therefore it’s immense capability and their sales structure. We understood it right from the word go and my UK bosses let me have my head. It was a ‘vision’ car …
Right from the start, it was almost a pre-requisite that any potential customer would need to visit Bugatti in Molsheim in order to understand the vehicle. At the time, the Veyron pretty much broke every automotive line of rationale as to how performance cars manufactured & behaved. And the second reason why a visit was a must was the sheer detail quality involved in it’s design, it’s assembly with total VW-German attention to a vehicle with 1000 horsepower and a 250 mph top speed. It left everyone who came across it with complete faith in what had been achieved.