The Bugatti Veyron was designed simply as a symbol of industrial might. By making this incredible car, Volkswagen Automotive Group (VAG) demonstrated its superiority and focused the world's attention on said company. It worked brilliantly, as nobody has been able to shut up about the thing since its debut in 2005. Since it is in no way a normal car, it's also not doing that very useful thing that normal cars usually do: turn a profit.
In fact, VAG loses $6.25 Million on every Veyron sold. That's enough money to buy about three Bugatti Veyrons. Other big loss leaders are the Smart ForTwo ($6,480/car), the VW Phaeton ($38,022/car), and the Jaguar X-Type ($6,346/car).
[via The Economist]