• Jan 26th 2010 at 3:58PM
  • 29
Artega GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Considering everything that's gone down with the world economy in the last two years, you couldn't pick a worse time to launch a new exotic car brand. But that's exactly what the Paragon Parts Group did when it trotted out the Artega GT a few years back.

Powered by a Volkswagen-sourced V6 mounted amidships and sending over 300 horsepower to the rear wheels through dual-clutch gearbox, the Henrik Fisker-designed $90,000 (estimated) coupe went on sale last year in Europe, but failed to set the world – or the motoring press – on fire.

So when a little birdie told us last month that Klaus Frers, owner of both Paragon and Artega, was looking to sell all his interests in Artega, we weren't entirely surprised. Fast-forward to today, and it's official: Mexican private investor Tresalia Capital (which has held a stake in Artega since October of 2008), has taken complete control of the automaker.

Interestingly, Tesalia Capital is one of Mexico's leading investment firms and is headed-up by Linda Alvarado, considered the country's most powerful woman. How powerful? She's the granddaughter of Grupo Modelo co-founder Felix Aramburuzabala, the company responsible for your favorite Mexican brews (Corona, Modelo and Pacifica).

According to the release after the jump, production of the Artega GT will continue, with 500 units being built each year in Delbrück, Germany, and Dieter Frers giving up control of the company to Wolfgang Ziebart, a former chairman of Infineon and ex-BMW engineer. And no, there's no word yet on U.S. sales.

[Source: Artega via Autoblog Espanol]
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Tresalia Capital takes over Artega

Mexican private investor Tresalia Capital, who has held a minority stake in Artega since October 2008 and is represented in Germany by AB 15/08 Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH, now takes over 100% of the shares in Artega. The present majority shareholder and managing director Klaus Dieter Frers will resign and concentrate on his tasks as CEO of paragon AG. A new Artega advisory board will be set up and chaired by Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Ziebart. For the time being he will also act as managing director of Artega.

In 2006, Frers founded Artega Automobil GmbH & Co. KG for developing and producing the new German sports car Artega GT. Danish designer Henrik Fisker, who inter alia was responsible for the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin Vantage, designed the car body. The result was a two-door coupe with an aluminium support structure, a carbon fibre reinforced body shell and a v6 engine which due to its good power-to-weight ratio combines high performance with low fuel consumption. The car will be manufactured, according to Frers' concept, in a plant in Delbrück, Westphalia, which was built exclusively for this purpose.

In September 2008, Frers won AB 15/08 Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH from Kriftel near Frankfurt as partner for Artega. Artega is part of the Mexican investor Tresalia Capital, which is one of the major shareholders in the Mexican Modelo brewery (brand name "Corona"). Tresalia Capital is also invested in other lifestyle businesses, like the fashion chain Tory Burch, which are now complemented by Artega. AB 15/08 Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH, so far holding a 48% voting stake in Artega, now takes over the 52% stake of Klaus Dieter Frers.

The interests of the shareholders in the company will in the future be protected by an advisory board that will be chaired by Wolfgang Ziebart. For 23 years he has worked in various positions at BMW, last as board member in charge of the development and purchasing division. After that he was a member of Continental AG management board and then chairman of the management board of Infineon. For the time being, Mr. Ziebart will take over the management of Artega. "A remarkable entrepreneurial achievement has led to an exciting vehicle, up to date in its concept, and timeless in design", Wolfgang Ziebart said. "After a first drive in the Artega GT I have spontaneously agreed to further accompany this car and I will do everything to make it a success". "We are very happy to have won a proven automotive expert and entrepreneur with Dr. Ziebart ", Tresalia Capital said. "We are particularly glad that he is ready to also take over the management of Artega in the phase of the production start". "I would have liked to continue the successfully started project, but my tasks at paragon require my full attention. That is why I am passing on the baton to Tresalia", says Klaus Dieter Frers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's actually a damn good-looking car.

      Just bring the belt-line down a tad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Move production to one of the idled GM plants in Mexico. That would lower the production cost vs Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Always loved the looks of this car. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        And I know there's no relation and they don't even look similar, but it always reminded me of the Tommy Kaira ZZII, which is another favorite of mine!
      • 5 Years Ago
      People buy this car because it is unique, limited production.
      ANYONE can buy an Evora or Cayman, this thing is really different, & has a famous designer name attached to it.
      in my opinion, the looks are stunning, WAY better than a Cayman.
      I love the Evora, but I love this more, simply because it has no rear seats.

      This thing is the real deal, extremely well engineered.

      I hope to god they plan on expanding to the US market.

      I think this thing will age gracefully, never really looking old.

      Extremely underrated.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The reviews I've read have been great. Unfortunately, many of those reviews were conducted on prototype cars, and the examples weren't production quality. The cars always seemed to be getting tweaked in some way (i.e. brakes, electronics etc.). EVO Magazine has had three really good reviews of the Artega GT.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who is Linda Alvarado?
      Tresalia Capital is a powerful investment fund managed by María Asunción Aramburuzabala, considered the most powerful woman in Mexico, and granddaughter of the founder of Grupo Modelo.
      Google traduction? Don't do that
      • 5 Years Ago
      Caught drinking and driving.Both the drink and drive are manufactured by the same company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is she dating the Dos Equis guy?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I heard he can speak French in Italian.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Two things...

      First: "for your favorite Mexican brews (Corona, Modelo and Pacifica)"

      Please. I'd take a Victoria (also made by Grupo Modelo), Indio or Tecate any day before any of the three you listed.

      Second: It's Pacifico. Not Pacifica.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm sure the "your favorite" refers to the collective "you". I have little doubt that Corona is the best selling Mexican brew in the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thought is... who cares? She's a beer baroness and now owns a unique sports car manufacturer. My question: Is she married? I could put up with a lot of flaws for that combo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the vehicle design but at 90K, I expect something more exciting than a mid mounted VW V6 to powering my vehicle.

      More importantly, who would buy this over a Lotus Evora which only(lol) cost 73K, probably handles better(check out the Top Gear review) and has the same design(mid mount V6, light weight).

      I can't believe they think they are going to sell 500 of them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If I was rich I would buy one. I would probably have an Evora too, but hey, I'd still buy one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Let's see... $90k for this, or $80k for a GT-R.... decisions decisions...
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Evora comes to mind immediatly for me too. I think this design is a little more cohesive, and feels a little more flowing than the Evora does. Its still way too expensive though. The interior looks a little better, but not more than 10 grand better. I'm sure the Evora is far better dynamically... I guess the problem with these types of cars is that its just not profitable to build them at this price point and sell these numbers without either skimping on the engine or the interior or build quality. Pick a couple of those things and you can have your car, but pick all three and you end up with one of those random 150 grand cars no one buys.
        • 5 Years Ago
        people will never learn that direct price conversions don't work for cars...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's quicker and handles better than the evora. It's worth it, if the evora's worth it with a toyota engine. Both are great products. Pitty really, this car looks quite nice, drives quite nice, and seemed like it could do alright.

        that said, i'd take the evora :). There's something about that rear deck and slope of the rear windshield that has a bit of the ferrari F cars as inspiration and it works incredibly well in person.
      • 5 Years Ago
      nice exterior, interior needs a lot of work...
      • 5 Years Ago
      A Cayman knock-off?
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