Looking at supercars is like looking at a piece of art. From the slightest angles on the body to the advance computer chips that make the car glide around corners, supercars are truly something to marvel. But are they worth creating if they cause manufacturers to lose money?
For those of you who don’t know what a supercar is, it is a high-end car that’s very expensive, fast or powerful. It’s the Ferraris, Bentleys and many others.
As long as cars have been made, there are have been supercars to enthrall auto enthusiasts. Yet, only a few can actually afford to own a supercar. This is where the issue lies. Is it worth spending millions of dollars to make a car only to lose money?
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Take for instance the Bugatti Veyron. It costs Bugatti’s parent company Volkswagen AG nearly $5 million to make one, but the company sells a Veyron for around $2.7 million. That’s a $2.3 million loss on each car, which doesn’t even consider the millions the company spent in car development.
So why would a company knowingly make a car only to lose millions? The answer is ego. The Veyron and its follow up the Veyron Super Sport were both made simply to be the fastest production car in the world. Volkswagen didn’t care about money and wanted to show a car’s limits by creating a vehicle with an incredible top speed of 258 mph. To put it into perspective, the fastest a NASCAR car goes around a track is 210 mph, but they average around 175 mph and they aren’t street legal.
Ferrari SA Aperta
But that’s what luxury is all about. It’s bragging rights. It’s telling your friends what I have is better than what you have. In 2010, there were five Veyron’s made and they were all bought. Ferrari made 80 SA Aperta’s for a price tag of $575,000 dollars and sold all of them. Those that bought a car show it off to their friends as a prized possession. At the same time, the companies brag about the elite cars they created and their clientele of billionaires, athletes and celebrities.
The demand for supercars is still present and not all supercar companies create a car knowing that they will lose money. In fact, Ferrari is doing pretty well. After a drop of 7 percent in 2009, the company saw an increase of 10 percent in 2010. This is a kind of the trend with most supercars. One year sales will be down, the next up. It all depends on if someone has the extra cash to spend. What’s more, not all supercars cost $1 million and an example of that is the “reasonably” priced Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 for $111,000.
That being said, it still takes years for the development of a supercar. When Lexus decided to make a supercar with the LFA, it took 10 years of development before the car was ready to sell and another year before owners could drive the LFA. That’s millions of dollars in development before seeing any kind of profit. After all the development, Lexus made 500 cars that sell for around $300,000 a piece. In the end, Lexus will take a huge loss just to create their first supercar.
The question still remains, is it worth it for a company to make a supercar? There really isn’t a definitive answer. Companies like Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini show how a company can create supercars and still earn a profit, making a supercar well worth the cost for development and creation. For other companies knowing they will lose money producing ultra expensive cars like the Bugatti Veyron, it isn’t worth the millions of dollars in a business mindset.
Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster
Then again, the beauty and the power of a supercar are a great status symbol. Go to an auto convention and try not to get mesmerized by the slick features of a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster or the 1,183 horsepower of the Shelby Ultimate Aero. Once you see a supercar you’ll forget the car’s cost and just observe these magnificent works of art.
The Bugatti Veyron is one of the most beautiful cars in the world and has power that cannot be matched. Although Bugatti loses millions producing the car, we are all amazed that a company could produce such a breathtaking vehicle.