Getting to this stage was a long journey. When the brand was revived in 2005 with the Veyron 16.4, many sports car owners initially asked themselves why they should buy a Bugatti. A sports car with a 16-cylinder engine, more than 1,000 PS, a top speed of over 400 km/h, and the comfort of a luxury limousine – was this even possible? Bugatti proved it was. Everyone who drove the Veyron immediately recognized that it took sports cars to a whole new level. This marked the birth of the hyper sports car.
By 2011, Bugatti had established a network in North America, the Middle East, and Asia as well as a customer service team which was available 24/7, with technicians that would fly around the world to customers (“flying doctors”). However, it placed next to no vehicles with its partners, meaning Bugatti was still traveling to every potential customer with a driver and a Veyron. “Back then, there wasn’t a single showroom which was exclusive to Bugatti,” explains Hendrik Malinowski, Director of Sales and Operations. “We sold the vehicles directly from the factory, but we wanted to take a different strategic approach with the Chiron1. We wanted to engage with the customers in the place they call home, take the Molsheim Experience out into the world, and strengthen the dealership business model, in terms both of sales and customer service.”
This called for some restructuring at Bugatti. Markus Vögele came on board in 2012. Vögele had ten years of experience under his belt with the Porsche Group, working in CRM, dealership/product marketing, and consulting. In his capacity as Head of Dealer Network and Business Development, he developed a unique dealer network strategy for Bugatti being well ahead of its time.
The sales processes were perfectly tailored to Bugatti and the needs and expectations of its customers and founded on a continuously improved “agency model” in which the definition and elaboration of the sales and customer experience processes are primarily the responsibility of the manufacturer. Bugatti was and still is a true pioneer here, just as it is with its vehicle technology. “True to Ettore Bugatti’s motto of If comparable, it is no longer Bugatti,’ we want to be ahead of the game with our business model and set the trend,” explains Vögele.
Bugatti creates a 360-degree customer experience with a recognizable, high-quality look at all the touchpoints. The marque was quick to introduce a global Salesforce CRM cloud solution to this end, in order to support the dealerships with highly personalized care for potential and existing customers.
To recreate the unique Molsheim Experience at the dealership level, a new, emotive showroom concept was designed which reflects the core values and history of the brand and its products. Upon walking into a Bugatti showroom, the customer instantly feels what makes the brand so special. High-quality materials and the exquisite implementation of all aspects in the showroom, including paintwork/carbon and leather patterns, as well as decorative elements, are based on those that similarly bring the Bugatti Chiron to life. In the lounge area, customers have the opportunity to withdraw and dedicate whatever time needed to their future Bugatti – in the same way as in the Remise Sud customer lounge at the brand’s headquarters in Molsheim.
For the complete Bugatti experience, state-of-the-art digital technologies are used to stage the Bugatti history as well as all facets of the Bugatti model range. With the aid of a newly developed, exclusive 3D real-time configurator, customers can immerse themselves in configuring their vehicle, displayed in ultra-high definition on a large screen in the showroom that matches the size of the actual vehicle. “The showroom is our flagship to the outside world, customers and fans alike. It is the place where they can meet with Bugatti family members,’” says Vögele.
“Carefully selected and trained brand managers at our partners’ premises around the world serve as the most important link between our customers and Bugatti in Molsheim,” explains Vögele further. The brand managers attend to Bugatti owners and those wishing to become a Bugatti owner personally and attentively. Like a concierge, they are their primary contact with regard to the brand, including after the sale has been concluded.
Bugatti therefore pays particular attention to regular training for the brand managers around the world, if possible, at the historic site where the luxury brand was founded more than 110 years ago. Recently, the training has alternatively been provided virtually. During the training, new products and projects are presented and open dialogue is maintained regarding market/customer and dealer requirements.
“The established standards are regularly audited and continuously improved to ensure that there is a unique customer experience and that all the dealers around the world meet the high compliance requirements. This is a fundamental principle of our work and a guarantor of the brand’s future success and authenticity,” says Vögele.
“With strong partners and exclusive hyper sports cars, we will continue to offer our customers first-class and highly individualized care in the future, too – not only in the existing markets, but also in new ones, the development of which we are constantly monitoring and which we will tap in accordance with our strategy,” comments Vögele.
In the more than 20 years since Bugatti returned to Alsace, it has evolved into the most significant luxury sports car brand, offering unique products and environments. And this will continue to be the case in the decades to come, with the team, the brand, and Molsheim having dedicated themselves entirely to the spirit of the company founder.