German sports car manufacturer Wiesmann has closed down, after facing insurmountable operating costs and losing market share to larger competitors, reports Auto Express.
The company initially went into administration in August last year after being unable to pay suppliers. It was hoped that a buyer could be find to save the brand and secure the jobs of its 125 employees, but now the factory gates are to close for good, ending a 21-year production run of bespoke luxury sports cars.
Wiesmann initially started trading in 1985 as an aftermarket parts business specialising in manufacturing removable hardtop roofs for open-top sports cars. It later entered the high-end two-seater sports car market, producing credible driver's machines sporting powerful engines from BMW's M division.
The brand's most outrageous vehicle is the £190,00 GT MF5. Powered by the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as found in the leviathan BMW X5M SUV, it develops 547bhp – enough to get it from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 193mph.
Given the car's bespoke nature, each MF5 takes 350 hours to build by hand. However, this individualistic approach hasn't been enough to attract the customers required to keep the firm in the black.
Thanks to a range of shared parts, existing Wiesmann owner should be able to turn to their local BMW garage for at least limited servicing options.
Check out the gallery below to see Wiesmann's model range.