An excerpt from Andrew Frankel's Road Cars column,
MotorSport Magazine, December 2013, page 40.
"Fascinating if somewhat gruesome reading this month from Bernstein Research, in the form of the greatest loss-making model lines among European car manufacturers. Way out in front is the original Smart ForTwo which between 1997 and 2006 managed to lose Daimler-Benz a simply extraordinary ₤ 2.8 billion. More staggering still is that this adds up to ₤ 3782 per vehicle, approximately half the car's retail price at the time.
Then again, if you care to add up losses on a per-vehicle basis the Bugatti Veyron is in a league all by itself, unapproached I suspect by any other car in history. If you thought ₤ 1 million was a lot to ask for a mere car, consider that for everyone sold, Volkswagen has shouldering a loss of ₤3.9 million."