By on April 8, 2009

Ragtop lovers, get out your rags and cry. German maker Karmann, famous for its Karmann Ghia and later for many ragtop versions produced for makers such as Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, Renault and VW, has declared insolvency, Automobilwoche [sub] reports. The company still has 3470 employees.

Karmann’s last big job was the Audi A4 Cabrio. After that was insourced back to Ingolstadt, Karmann could not find another large account to keep them busy.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


16 Comments on “Another One Bites The Dust: Karmann Gone Bust...”

  • avatar

    Huh. Just yesterday I was chatting with a friend who is just embarking on the restoration of Karmann Ghia. I guess he had better hurry if he needs anything from them.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    It seems just weeks ago that Karmann built the Mercedes CLK, SLK, the Volkswagen Golf wagon and convertible, some kind of Kia SUV, Renault Megane convertibles, The Nissan Micra convertible, the Chrysler Crossfire and so many more – how could they lose all that?

  • avatar

    I met an attractive girl the other day. I asked her her name and she said it was Carmen (Karmann?). I said that was a nice name. She said she picked it herself – after her two favorite things, cars and men.

    A moment passed and she asked my name.

    I said: “BJ Titsandgolf”

  • avatar

    Yeah, that kinda makes sense. Convertibles are usually a second car in the garage, likely to remain in a pristine condition for the long haul. They must have missed out on the Cash-for-Clunker madness.

  • avatar

    Well, it comes as no surprise to anyone who ever fought the rust on a Karmann Ghia that the company dissolved just like their products.

    Still, they made many beautiful vehicles, and they’ll be missed. Another part of our collective automotive soul has been eaten by accountants.

    Sic transit gloria mundi

  • avatar

    We’re seeing some historic names fade into nothing as this global meltdown plows through every country. Meanwhile, fear of losing jobs or stock value keeps people’s money in their pockets, adding more fuel to the financial fire. The automotive landscape is going to look a lot different in a few years. This sucks.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    This is interesting because I worked with some auto industry consultants about eight years ago. They said the only way the American car companies could save themselves was to outsource their production.

    When pressed, they meant companies like Karmann could help keep them afloat. So what’s going to happen to Valmet, once Porsche moves their contract to Steyr?

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @Rod Panhard :
    So what’s going to happen to Valmet, once Porsche moves their contract to Steyr?

    Allegedly, some good Karma from Fisker.

  • avatar

    Sad…the Corrado I once owned was built by Karmann.

  • avatar

    I always wondered why Fisher Body ever lived past the 1950s, but Karmann is a different story. I wonder if Karmann bodied cars will command premiums like 1930s Brunn, Hooper, Fleetwood, etc vehicles do now.

    Probably not, since the average buyer never knows that the coachwork came from a company not related to their dealership.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery


    Yes, and the first and second generations of Scirocco’s, which I loved back in the day.

  • avatar

    Karmann will be sorely missed. They designed some beautiful cars.

  • avatar

    As the proud owner of a near-pristine Karmann Ghia, Im a little depressed. All spares, however, have come from the aftermarket, not the factory (VW nor Karmann) for decades now.

  • avatar

    Too bad that VW never took advantage of the name for another ‘niche’ car.
    They are so damn stupid when it comes to marketing!!
    Remember the Corrado..try to find a nice one now.
    A damn fine care with no marketing behind it.

  • avatar

    Hey guys. I work at Karmann USA in Plymouth, MI and I just wanted it to be clear that Karmann Germany is not going out of business, it is simply restructuring early in case things get worse.

    If your friend’s vehicle is a convertible, our facility in Michigan specializes in restoring the convertible top of Karmann Ghia’s. He can email me at for more questions.

  • avatar

    Karmann is in trouble due to their own ignorance, Mercedes, Audi, and more pulled out. but who is kidding who, look at he garbage they make. Rusty junk like the Karmann Guia to the junk G6 and sebring, from the top management to the janitor are a bunch of ignorants, they dont care about the customers, I wouldn’t let them tie my shoes and for sure never work on my convertible, if you are restoring a vehicle do yourself a favor and stay away from those assholes. I worked in their Plymouth facility and know that they only make junk. I am glad they are going under. BYE BYE KARMANN

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: “I seriously doubt anyone buys one of these for the principal purpose of being an empty daily...
  • dal20402: Why does disclosing a fuel economy number “neuter their abilities?”
  • Mandalorian: I feel like with the rise of mega-dealer groups (Penske, Autonation, etc) a lot of the sleaziness has...
  • Mandalorian: “A sedan is like a nice suit, whereas a CUV is a pair of sweatpants with worn out elastic.”...
  • 87 Morgan: I found with my 03′ ram Cummins that the FE increased by close to 2 mpg after break in, call it 40k....

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States