In the 1930s, it seemed that Bugatti was getting financially whole with the production of rail cars and trains, when their workforce went on strike. Disgruntled employees demanded that Ettore pay them higher wages and that working conditions be improved. He clashed with workers and eventually moved his personal offices to Paris. During the latter part of the decade, Ettore won the Le Mans race and lost his son Jean in a car accident.
Extremely distraught over the death of his son, and with his company in shambles due to the production shutdown, Ettore Bugatti died of lung disease in 1947. The business continued to spiral downward until it ceased operations in 1952. In 1955, Roland Bugatti attempted to revive the brand with his Type 251 race car. Production of the car never took hold and the project was eventually scrapped. The 1960s saw Bugatti sold to Hispano-Suiza. They used the facility to manufacture airplane engines and parts.
An Italian entrepreneur acquired the brand in 1987 and renamed it Bugatti Automobili SpA. In 1989, plans for a new Bugatti were rendered by Lamborghini Countach and Lamborghini Miura concepts. Three years later, in 1992, the company introduced its new production vehicle; the Bugatti EB 110 GT.