Thursday, April 28, 2011

Artega GT 2011

A few years ago, an ambitious company – Paragon Parts Group – tried to make its mark on the auto industry with the Artega GT, a Volkswagen-sourced V6 engine sports car that produced well over 300 horsepower. At that time, it was PPG’s hope that the Artega GT would catch the attention of car enthusiasts - particularly those from Europe – and signal the arrival of the Artega GT to the sports car segment.
Fast forward to present times and the only attention the Artega GT has received recently is news that owner Klaus Frers has decided to sell the car brand to one of its private investors, Tresalia Capital.
A lot of you may not be familiar with Tresalia Capital – neither were we – but upon further investigation, we learned that the company is one of Mexico’s leading investment firms and is led by one of the country’s most powerful women, Linda Alvarado, who is actually the grand-daughter of Felix Aramburuzabala, the founder of Grupo Modelo, which introduced to the alcohol-consuming population Corona, Modelo, and Pacifica.
This is probably the only situation where the words ‘sports car’ and ‘beer’ mentioned in the same sentence isn’t exactly a bad thing.
In any case, as far as the production of the cars are concerned, the turning-over to a new ownership won’t affect the scheduled 500 units that are currently being built at its plant in Germany and, unfortunately, despite having its new owners near local soil, the Artega GT is still not expected to be shipped in the US anytime soon.
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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