Wiesmann Finds New Buyer, Could Come Back By 2016
German automaker Weismann, known for those quirky, retro-styled roadsters, could be returning from the grave after a spokesman for the company confirmed to Autobomilwoche that British-based Indian investors Roheen and Sahir Berry have ponied up to acquire the rights to the business. Part of the acquisition includes the company name and the company’s “gecko” logo.
The same spokesman also said that the new owners plan to restart production of Weismann’s fleet of models as early as 2016 at the company’s headquarters in Dolmen, Germany. There’s also been discussion by the company’s brass on the possibility of building right-hand drive models to complement the traditional left-hand drive versions. The rationale behind this appears to be the owners’ intention to bring Weismann to its home country of India where sports cars are slowly beginning to gain traction in that particular market. That’s a big reason why the new owners are also considering to slash the prices of the cars. Instead of the entry-level model fetching as much as $175,000, the new objective appears to involve dropping that entry-level price tag closer to the $100,000 range. Finally, a few modifications in the cars could also be in the pipeline as the company attempts to modernize its offerings to cater to the younger automotive markets.
The latest twist in the saga of Weismann’s life could finally bring the company back from the ground. Remember, the company went out of business in 2014 and its owners have spent that time searching for new investors. Now it appears it has a pair of brothers that are determined to reinvent the brand according to their vision. All that’s left to officially finalize the deal is to get the approval from creditors. That could happen as soon as December 2015 when creditors and an administrator overseeing the bankruptcy sale meet to determine whether to give the thumbs up on the acquisition.
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Why it matters
Fans of the Wiesmann brand - I count myself in that group - can now breathe out a sigh of relief. I admit that I lost hope of seeing the German company come back from the dead when it closed shop last year after straddling the bankruptcy line far too many times to its liking.
Let’s face it: as good as the company was in building models like the MF3 and MF5, it really limited its market to a niche clientele that appreciated the retro-styled looks of its models. In other words, its business plan was really flawed. It also didn’t help that the company priced its cars so high that anybody with a rational state of mind would’ve have second-guessed a purchase considering the other options available in the market with that price point. So yeah, a big part of it is Weismann’s fault. It didn’t evolve as well as it should have and when it finally smartened up and realized the current climate of the industry, it was too late.
All that said, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m happy to see somebody breathe new life into the company. I don’t know who the Berry brothers are or how they’re going to execute their plans for Weismann, but I’m leaving that to them. Should their acquisition push through - there’s no reason why it shouldn’t - I’m going to be keeping tabs on how they manage the reincarnated German automaker.
Hopefully, they do a much better job than the previous owners ever did.
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