Automobile Manufacturers > Defunct Automobile Brands
Defunct European Automobile Brands
De Tomaso Automobili
Saab Automobile AB
Saab Automobile was a manufacturer of automobiles that was founded in Sweden in 1945 when its parent company, SAAB AB began a project to design a small automobile. The first production model, the Saab 92, was launched in 1949. In 1968 the parent company merged with Scania-Vabis, and ten years later the Saab 900 was launched, in time becoming Saab’s best-selling model. In the mid-1980s the newer Saab 9000 model also appeared.
In 1989, the automobile division of Saab-Scania was restructured into an independent company, Saab Automobile AB. The American manufacturer General Motors took 50% ownership with an investment of US$600 million, and then in 2000, exercised its option to acquire the remaining 50% for a further US$125 million; so turning Saab Automobile into a wholly owned GM subsidiary. In 2010 GM sold Saab Automobile AB to the Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker Cars
On June 13, 2012, Saab was sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden, it was announced that a newly formed company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) had bought Saab Automobile’s bankrupt estate. On June 21, 2016, NEVS announced they will no longer use the Saab trademark.[Saab Archives]
De Tomaso Automobili S.p.A.
according to wikipedia, De Tomaso went into liquidation in 2004, although production of new cars continued after this date. By 2008 a buyer was being sought for the De Tomaso trademarks, as per the court-appointed liquidators. The company was bought by Gian Mario Rossignolo in 2009. A new business plan for the company called for producing three models for a total of 8,000 vehicles: 3,000 crossovers, 3,000 limousines, and 2,000 two-seater sports cars.
In May 2012, De Tomaso was again for sale after their business plan failed to gather sufficient financial backing. In July 2012, Gian Mario Rossignolo was arrested following allegations that he misused million worth of government funds. In September 2012, speculation emerged that BMW might be interested in the brand factory to produce new BMW models.
THE RACING YEARS
Alejandro De Tomaso made his debut as a Formula One driver on 13 January 1957. After his years of racing with Maserati and Osca, he set up his own company to create thoroughbred automobiles, and for this purpose he chose Italy, the home of car design and technology. In 1959 he unveiled a Formula Junior and a Formula One model. Modena, the capital of the world’s most illustrious racing cars, Ferrari and Maserati, was to host another automotive legend. In later years, De Tomaso also created chassis for the Frank Williams racing team.
THE PRODUCTION YEARS
After four years producing racing cars, De Tomaso shifted his attention to the world of road cars. The company entered the field with the Vallelunga, which was received with acclaim at the 1963 Motor Show in Turin. The Mangusta was unveiled in 1967. Alejandro made his definitive mark in 1971 with the Pantera, which remained in production for two decades. Groups of enthusiasts began to spring up, especially in the United States, and the De Tomaso Pantera became a legend in the world of sports cars.
THE LUXURY YEARS
Even though it was known mainly for its sports cars, the nascent luxury market became De Tomaso’s next great challenge. In 1971 came the Deauville, a powerful, much-celebrated four-door car, and this was followed by the Longchamp coupè. Even though the comfort offered by these models was on a par with that of the greatest international competitors, their rare allure added an extra touch to the luxury driving experience. In 1993, De Tomaso unveiled its last model, the Guara.
Artists and architects have always based their work on the golden rectangle, in which the shorter side is to the longer as the longer is to the sum of the two. Universally considered as the most classical proportion, the Golden Ratio is an essential element in the human perception of beauty. From the historical legacy to the new logo, the aesthetic canons of harmony and balance shape the image of a brand for the future.
[Think Electric Vehicle (2010)]
Think Global was an electric car company located in Oslo, Norway, which manufactured cars under the TH!NK brand. Production of the Th!nk City was stopped in March 2011 and the company filed for bankruptcy on June 22, 2011, for the fourth time in 20 years. The company was bought soon after by Electric Mobility Solutions AS and production ceased in August 2012 with no more announcements regarding future production
THINK North America
The Scandinavian electric vehicle (EV) maker THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world. THINK designs, develops, manufactures and markets full battery electric vehicles (BEV) and electric vehicle technologies, and has been doing so since the early 1990s. THINK is a pioneer in this field, a position it has developed and proven over 19 years and 30 million miles of happy, pure electric, local-emissions-free motoring.
It is one of the few companies that has a ‘ready-to-market’ fully electric vehicle – the THINK City – it’s latest generation BEV, launched in 2008. With its market-leading range, driveability and recyclability, the THINK City is the first vehicle of its type to be granted pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification.
THINK is owned by a group of investors made up of loyal and long-standing company supporters, some individual Norwegian backers and leading venture capital and clean-tech investment firms from the USA and the UK.
Named investors are: Ener1, Inc. from the USA, Valmet Automotive from Finland and Investinor, the Norwegian Government-backed investment fund.
Ener1, Inc. is the largest of the investors in THINK, holding an equity stake in the company of approximately 31%. Ener1, Inc. is the parent company of EnerDel, a leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion automotive battery systems based in Indianapolis and an existing supplier to THINK.
Valmet Automotive is a leading provider of engineering and manufacturing services to the automotive industry and is joining THINK as a new industrial partner with a small share in the company. New production of the THINK City started in December 2009 at Valmet’s high-technology manufacturing base in Uusikaupunki, Finland (replacing THINK’s production facilities at Aurskog, Norway), alongside its assembly facilities for the Boxster and Cayman models for Porsche AG.
THINK however remains a truly Norwegian company, with its senior management, sales, marketing, design and engineering staff all still located at the company’s Oslo headquarters.
Investinor is a Norwegian venture fund backed by the Government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. The fund invests in Norwegian companies on strict commercial terms in return for share capital, and invested NOK30million ($5million) in THINK in 2009.
The company has recently made a series of senior executive appointments from the automotive and clean-tech industries, won major new contracts in the drive-train supply business and started the roll-out of sales into key European markets.
With sales underway across Europe in markets such as Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden, and the company’s recently announced plans to establish a U.S. production facility during 2010 in Elkhart County, Indianapolis, THINK can maintains its position as a leader in electric vehicles and electric drive-system technology. The company is also the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector.
Marussia Motors was a Russian sports car company founded in 2007. It was the first Russian company to produce a supercar. It designed, and manufactured prototypes of both the B1 and the B2 sport cars. Marussia was led by former motor racer Nikolai Fomenko. The Marussia B1 was launched in December 2008 in Moscow.
The first car made had a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Marussia has announced they will build 2,999 examples of the car. The car has been produced at the Marussia Motors production facility in Moscow, with the company’s first showroom following in the city in September 2010. Structure is light and strong semi-monocoque and powered by Cosworth-built V6 engines developing between 300 and 420 bhp depending on the specification. Also in 2010, it acquired a “significant stake” in the Virgin Racing Formula One team, which was later renamed Marussia F1. The team competed in F1 from 2012 to 2014.
Marussia Motors wished to market its cars to large European countries and some in Asia and Australia within several years, with the United States to follow. Planned steps to support this included manufacturing vehicles in Western Europe and increasing its product range. Marussia Motors anticipated presenting 7 models at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show that were to include a new sports coupé, a luxury SUV, a luxury sedan, and a small city car. However, owing to their discontinuation in 2014, the projects never came to fruition. In April 2014, the Marussia Motors company was disbanded.
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