A pleasant, eloquent voice and a great love for cars: when Guy Caquelin talks about unique vehicles, he shines. Of French nationality, he loves cars and has lived this passion since his childhood. This makes him the perfect customer advisor and dealer at Bugatti. But he's much more than an advisor, he's a confidant.
As Market Manager in Europe, he takes care of 14 dealers and all European customers, as well as sales, configuration, coordination of vehicle delivery and planning of national and local events. Whether weekdays or weekends, Guy Caquelin takes the time for customers who call him with questions about new models or a new idea to configure their Chiron. “Bugatti customers are something special. They are successful people in life, inspirational sources who seek the extraordinary and who are held in high esteem from us ", declares the French.
His job is not just to sell an automobile. “Building a Bugatti is a long and intensive process that takes a lot of effort. On both sides ", said Caquelin. As a service provider, he wants to present the vehicle in as much detail as possible to interested parties. His clients travel a lot, so they determine the time and place for such a presentation.
Up to eight Bugattis for one customer
He maintains close contact with each of his clients. Bugatti collectors have the opportunity to view and purchase certain models at an early stage – a particular form of exclusivity. Many customers own not just one, but several Bugatti vehicles. It is a great challenge and a real pleasure to work with these clients and allow them to pursue their dream. The partners then talk not only about cars, but also about other subjects. Bugatti opens the doors to many conversations, that is the magic of the brand.
Two years ago, Caquelin met a new customer to show him a particular Bugatti model. The customer immediately fell in love with the Molsheim brand and hypersports. He has since ordered eight Bugatti vehicles, including one-off limited-series models.
Up to six hours of straightforward setup
It usually takes six to eight months between initial contact, signing of the sales contract, and final setup. Along with a Bugatti enthusiast and auto collector, Caquelin has been up to over 30 setups for a car, the whole process spanning two years. The longest one-day setup was for a Bugatti Veyron at Molsheim and lasted over six hours. "Time is not the deciding factor. We want the customer to be not only happy, but also happy. We are only satisfied when the vehicle is perfectly configured. Bugatti is a brand that listens. A brand that invites interested parties to a visit and tries to fulfill all their wishes. The customer likes to design the car of his dreams, then to assemble certain parts of his vehicle himself », explains Caquelin. In addition to French and English, he is fluent in German, understands some Spanish and Italian and has been learning Russian for several years.
Although most Bugatti enthusiasts are men, women have an influence on the purchase. “Almost all of our customers make their purchasing decision together with the woman in their life. They have a strong influence on the setup and become more and more enthusiastic as they see the range of possibilities ", he explains. After a test drive, new customers are usually blown away by what they've been through before. Incredible performance combined with absolute luxury takes all competition out. "Customers are often amazed that Bugatti vehicles are so easy and safe to drive, and that they offer such comfort, despite the incredible performance", explains Caquelin.
A life with Bugatti
He was predestined, so to speak, to work at Bugatti. Guy Caquelin grew up in Strasbourg. Cars have always played an important role in his family. His paternal great-grandfather, Louis Gustave Caquelin, founded the first driving school in Alsace and Lorraine in the 1930s. Guy Caquelin heard about Bugatti for the first time at the age of ten and became interested to historic racing cars. At the age of 13, he learned to drive a car on isolated roads. His grandfather and his father work as driving instructors. His mother's grandfather worked for Ettore Bugatti as a mechanic in the late 1930s. "To this day, everything in our family revolves around cars, so for me it's something hereditary », Admits the French. A lover of architecture and art, he is a fan of the Bugatti Type 43 Grand Sport (in the family for over 40 years) and of course of the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, he is above all passionate about history, creator Jean Bugatti and the myth of the vanished car.
After high school, Guy Caquelin studied law with a specialization in commerce and economics. Shortly after graduation, interesting work awaits: a small car manufacturer wants to found a new brand in Switzerland with the Daimler-Benz group and Swatch. Caquelin therefore starts at Smart, and helps build the business. He was present during the laying of the cornerstone of the Hambach-Lothringen plant, contributing to the development of the new brand with its unusual new car. However, since his schooling, he has been waiting for Bugatti to wake up in Molsheim.
At the age of 27, he drove for the first time a historic Type 43 Grand Sport from 1927, chassis 43183. The vehicle belonged to Jan Cohen, his mother's companion, who after the untimely death of her husband fell in love again. Jan Cohen is looking for a spare part for his Type 43 which he finds at Caquelin's mother. This is how they get to know each other. Jan Cohen has been a Bugatti fan since he was a child. At 14, he traveled from Holland to Molsheim by bike to meet Ettore Bugatti in person. He bought this car in the 1960s and restored it for 40 years. When Guy Caquelin drives the Type 43 for the first time, he is immediately thrilled. “I will never forget the experience, the sound and the vibrations of the engine, plus a driving behavior like that of a race car, but with four seats. Passers-by greeted us happily as we crossed the Vosges. I was very happy with these expressions of sympathy for Bugatti vehicles ", he said. To this day, this behavior of the public is characteristic: the sight of a Bugatti vehicle elicits a broad smile in most people. It doesn't matter whether it's a historic model or a current hyper sports car that goes on the road.
When he found out that the traditional Bugatti brand was being revived, Caquelin immediately applied to the new President of Bugatti. “I've always wanted to work for a company where I could build something new. When I joined Bugatti, the Veyron was already developed, but there was no dealer network ", he explains. Then there was the extraordinary hyper sports car, an extraordinary vehicle. "There has never been so much power and performance combined with the highest quality and the most extravagant luxury in the automotive industry", he said, still enthusiastic. With the Chiron and Divo now delivered, Bugatti has once again exceeded its own high standards. For Guy Caquelin, who does this job out of conviction and passion, it is almost unimaginable to find better. But that’s what Bugatti strives to do: always improve and improve. To create a unique vehicle that meets specific customers and requirements.
The Type 43 Grand Sport is now owned by passionate Bugatti Oskar Meier from Zurich. As a friend of the family, Guy Caquelin can visit him at any time to continue driving this special vehicle and share his passion and enthusiasm with him.