It is a sad day for the motoring world, troubled German sports car maker Wiesmann is finally going out of business.
After declaring bankruptcy – or whatever bankruptcy’s efficient German cousin is – in August 2013, the small automaker struggled along through the winter trying to salvage the company or find a buyer. Unfortunately, as Auto Express is now reporting, no one was willing to come forward and take responsibility for the Wiesmann’s obligations, or, sadly, its 125 employees.
Wiesmann, has been in the automotive business for nearly 30 years. It began its life making hard tops for convertibles and eventually started making its own cars in partnership with BMW’s M Division. For the last ten years or so, Wiesmann has turned out curvaceously retro two-seater sports cars, packed with the engines and running gear from BMW M3s and M5s.
Anyone who saw these cars on their appearance on Top Gear, or better yet, had a chance to see one in person, can attest at how beautiful and cool they were. Not to mention that its last model the GT MF5 had 547 horsepower … ach du lieber!
And that is the real tragedy of Wiesmann. Its collapse came not so much because of a failure in its product, but rather in its timing. Wiesmann invested heavily in a new factory and designs in 2009 … just as the economic crisis saw the market for performance cars, let alone performance cars from little-known German companies, vanish.
The world of bespoke, independent automakers is fraught with difficulty, and most such companies operate on a razors edge of profits. Wiesman was no exception, and even this temporary loss in sales, it seems, was enough to kill it.
So, auf wiedersehen Wiesmann, and thanks for all the beautiful cars.