Volkswagen's decision to acquire the Bugatti brand was a head-scratcher when it was made in 1998 and remains so 15 years later. After all, the original maker of Bugatti automobiles had been shut down for half a century, and the name had little resonance. VW went ahead to develop a monster it called the Bugatti Veyron, a super-fast (top speed: 250 mph) and super-expensive ($1.7 million) car hardly ever seen outside the collections of Middle Eastern sheiks. Only 30 were sold in 2011. One analyst estimates that VW loses $7 million on every Veyron it builds.
You'll be hearing about Lincoln's relaunch these days. But what you won't hear about is Ford's thrifty approach.