Bugatti just re-started the production in its Atelier yesterday after the temporary suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some of the most exclusive hyper sports cars are being assembled again, many Bugatti employees continue working from home as part of the company’s health and safety measures. Home office has become a new working reality at all Bugatti sites around the world. Kostas Psarris for example, the brand’s representative for all operations in the Middle East and Asia, and his team in the region are still running daily operations remotely from home.
Since April 2019 Kostas Psarris has been at the head of the regional Bugatti representation. In his role he leads and oversees the operations of the Bugatti partners in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and works on the long-term strategy, always exploring new opportunities for Bugatti. The global lockdown due to COVID-19 came in waves for Psarris and his team. “With East Asia being in the center of this health crisis in the early stages, our Asian dealerships had to react very quickly. Here in Dubai, however, we only had to go into confinement three weeks ago, so we had enough time to prepare for it”, explains the 38-year-old Greek. When the local government implied social distancing in March, Psarris and his team had to find an alternative for the long planned Middle East premiere of the Chiron Pur Sport1. The actual world premiere of the latest member of the Chiron family also did not take place as planned, following the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and was held in private one-to-one viewings with individual customers. “Since many of our customers were very keen on seeing the hyper sports car in the flesh, though, we managed to organise individual presentations of the car in our showroom in Dubai – with great success.”
The current situation is unlike anything Kostas Psarris has experienced in his twelve years within the automotive industry, leading him from Athens to Manchester and for the last six years to Dubai. The lack of a physical presence in the office isn’t what’s new for Psarris and his team, being used to travelling through a region that extends from Japan all the way to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and even to Bugatti’s headquarters in France. “9,514 kilometers and 5 time zones equal long working hours for us, and more often than not we have to work remotely. And not from the comfort of our own home, but in the offices of Bugatti partners on our travels, or airport lounges and hotel rooms.” What Psarris is missing in home office, is the personal contact with his business partners and especially with the customers: “We consider ourselves lucky to have some of the most loyal Bugatti customers, real car enthusiasts, in our region. We enjoy meeting them, listening to their needs and ideas, showing them what we’ve been working on. Nothing replaces this face-to-face interaction, but of course we try our best to work around it with digital solutions.” This way, his team managed to close some sales despite the unusual circumstances. Among them, the last available ‘Edition Noire’, a 20-unit special edition of the Chiron Sport2 that is now sold out.