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]
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.