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Finance: Inside the Molsheim Experience, the exclusive Bugatti-buying process that takes customers to France to create their own $3 million sports car

Finance: Inside the Molsheim Experience, the exclusive Bugatti-buying process that takes customers to France to create their own $3 million sports car



Bugatti's Chiron at Bugatti headquarters in Molsheim, France.

A Bugatti is the ultimate luxury in the automobile world — it's recently released Chiron costs around $3 million, and there are only 200 left. But the buying process, dubbed the Molsheim Experience, is just as exclusive as the car itself. Take a look inside.

  • A Bugatti is the ultimate luxury in the automobile world, thanks to its fine craftsmanship and multi-million dollar price tag.
  • Bugatti's recently released Chiron costs around $3 million — and there are only 200 left.
  • The buying process for a Bugatti, called the Molsheim Experience, allows potential buyers to take a Bugatti for a test spin at the brand's headquarters in France before creating their own customized vehicle.

It's hard to think of a more glamorous car than a Bugatti.

Limited, luxurious, and lavish, a Bugatti comes with a multi-million dollar price tag for its elite status — and the process to buy one can be just as exclusive as the car itself. Dubbed the Molsheim Experience, pre-qualified potential buyers are hosted at Bugatti's headquarters in Molsheim, France, for the day.

After touring the grounds, they take a Bugatti out for a test spin before stepping into the brand's customer lounge to create a custom, tailor-made vehicle that fits their specific preferences.

Currently up for sale is Bugatti's Chiron and Chiron Sport, which cost around $3 million. Recently released, there are only about 200 left that can be made.

From exploring the historic grounds of Bugatti's headquarters to hitting the roads of France, take a tour of the Molsheim Experience below.

A Bugatti is the ultimate indulgence for any car lover.

Several celebrities own the multi-million dollar car, from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ralph Lauren to Floyd Mayweather Jr and Simon Cowell.

Source: Elite Traveler

Beyoncé also gave Jay-Z a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport for his 41st birthday.

Source: Elite Traveler

The brand's success dates back to 1909 when Ettore Bugatti founded it.

Bugatti is currently selling two models — the Chiron, with a base price of $2.9 million, and the Chiron Sport, released earlier in 2018 with a starting price of $3.26 million.

It features one-carat diamond membranes in the speakers, the world's longest built-in LED illumination system, and 16 leather hides.

What it doesn't include is plastic — even the air vents are made of a titanium/magnesium alloy.

It could arguably be called a piece of "haute couture" — only 500 will ever be made, and more than 300 are spoken for already.

Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann previously told Business Insider, "We are sold out until the second half of 2021."

Source: Business Insider

A Bugatti spokesperson told Business Insider the average Bugatti Chiron buyer has an expansive vehicle collection of 42 cars and two planes, among other things.

More than 50% of current Chiron owners are also first-time Bugatti owners — the Chiron was designed with new buyers in mind, as some found the Bugatti Veyron, the previous model, too bulky.

Source: Bloomberg

Manuela Höhne, the head of communications for Bugatti, told Bloomberg that half of the Chirons already purchased were bought sight-unseen.

Source: Bloomberg

But potential buyers who want to test before they buy undergo a special buying process, dubbed the Molsheim Experience.

Qualified prospects fly out to Molsheim — the birthplace and headquarters of Bugatti located in the heart of Alsace, France — for the day at their own expense.

Bugatti invites previous owners — those who purchased the Veyron — and other qualified prospects to partake in the experience, but they remained mum on the details of the full vetting process.

The Bugatti spokesperson told Business Insider they have an average of two North American customers or prospects participating in the Molsheim Experience per month.

The historic gates of Chateau St. Jean, the heart of the facility, open exclusively for customers, who begin the Molsheim Experience with a tour of the grounds.

At the Chateau, customers learn about Bugatti's history and see a display of unique art pieces from members of the Bugatti family.

They also get to explore classic, vintage Bugattis.

Customers then take the 1926 Type 35 for a spin.

One of Bugatti's most important models, it has more than 2,000 victories and podium finishes, making it one of the most successful racing cars in automobile history.

Customers are then taken to the Atelier, the only modern building at Bugatti headquarters. It resembles the "macaron" shape of the brand's logo.

A factory, the Atelier is where master craftspeople assemble cars by hand with precision and detail, according to each customer's distinct specifications.

Customers then take a tea break at the historic Orangerie, the only structure added to the estate by Ettore Bugatti. It was carefully restored in 2009 as part of Bugatti's 100th anniversary celebration.

There's also a team of "flying doctors" at headquarters, ready to service cars throughout the world and ensure they retain their value.

After the tour of the grounds is finished, customers take a Chiron out on the open road, alongside an experienced driver.

Upon returning to headquarters, customers configure their completely unique Chiron at the Customer Lounge.

Assisted by a car designer, customers build a vehicle tailor-made to their specific preferences.

Customers can choose from different color combinations and different color layouts.

Höhne told Bloomberg many customers end up wanting two Chirons — one for their collection and one to drive.

Source: Bloomberg

As Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Bugatti S.A.S.'s official test driver, once said, "Everyone who had seriously been considering buying a Bugatti beforehand actually did so afterwards."

Source: Bugatti

Click here to read the full text by Hillary Hoffower

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