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Wiesmann GmbH & Co. KG, a German sports car manufacturer, promoted as “The Individualist Manufacturer”, may not be known to North Americans, as the cars are sold in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Unfortunately, they are missing out on something fabulous since Wiesmann is the envy of the luxury market. Handcrafted manufacturing, powerful engines, detailed designs, and modern technology are some of the extraordinary features of this purist sports car. But the most alluring part of the design is the concept of uniqueness because each car is different depending on its customer's requests.
Established in 1988 by engineer-brothers Friedhelm and Martin Wiesmann, each car produced must be perfect. Further, the vehicles must have impeccable driving powers, as characterized by the company logo “because Wiesmann cars stick to the road like geckos stick to the wall”. Driven by the passion for racing from a very early age, the brothers visit the 1985 Essen Motor Show and quickly realize that they wish to build a sports car, but one that celebrates and maintains the old legend styling while using all the technology afforded of the current time period. Beginning in the cellar in 1986, they have presently grown to be the leading manufacturer for puristic sports cars and recently boasted the creation of their one-thousandth vehicle.
The first prototype is completed in 1987 and the factory is opened in 1988. Even more exciting, the Wiesmann brothers present their new car, an extremely smart looking roadster convertible, at the 1988 Essen Motor Show. In 1989, they design the hard top model. But by 1991, they are so busy they require a bigger facility and buy the Telgenkamp factory where the hard tops are produced and further developments of the roadster continue.
In 1993, they complete the five year development of the Roadster MF3, at which point begin production. Immediately the car is well received. 2005 brings about the debut of the GT MF4 and 2005, the GT MF5. And, at the March 2009 International Motor Show in Geneva, Wiesmann premiers its Roadster MF4.
Just as precise and as unique are the cars produced by Wiesmann, so too, is the factory. Called “the glass manufactory”, it is shaped like a gecko and since April 2008 has opened for the public to view the production area, wander around the showroom of finished cars, relax in the café, or find souvenirs in the exclusive boutique. Factory experts also lead a one hour tour explaining the full process and showing demonstration vehicles.
Viewing the manufacturing process is intriguing as it represents a long-lost art. Each handcrafted vehicle is meticulously pieced together with the exact specifications of the future owner. Elements of the design process include “individuality, exclusivity, quality, and emotion”. Even the steering wheel leather is chosen by the client. With the exception of BMW engines, nothing is outsourced which ensures perfection. Welding, wire harnesses, body molding, tannery, as well as the final and pre-assembly are all done in-house.
Interesting facts about Wiesmann are:
• It takes three-hundred and fifty hours of handwork to complete a vehicle.
• Wiesmann provided vehicles to use as the official safety car at the 2009 high performance sport car series FIA GT.
• Offers apprenticeships for school graduates in either technical or commercial branches
• In conjunction with German newspaper BILD and to commemorate 2008, their twentieth anniversary, the car manufacturer has designed the Wiesmann Roadster MF3 which when sold, most of the money will go to children's charity “Ein Herz Für Kinder”.
Since the underlying concept of a Wiesmann is perfection and individualism, it stands to reason that they are not continually producing new models. Their cars appeal to a specialized luxury market and as such, there are only four models from which to choose.
• Roadster MF3
• Roadster MF4
• GT MF4
• GT MF5
Lastly, numerous sales centers are found throughout Germany, Austria, Baltic States, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, China, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea.
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