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Karmann closes shop

2009-06-26 11:09
Karmann shut its doors this week as its last vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz CLK convertible, rolled off the company's Osnabrück line.

The German manufacturer is perhaps best known for its Karmann Ghia coupes and convertibles built for Volkswagen and based on the iconic VW Beetle.

Karmann, which was founded in 1901, also built chassis and body panels for various manufacturers. It also made convertible roof structures for various manufacturers, with its most notable being the retractable hardtop first developed for the Mercedes-Benz SLK and later copied by other manufacturers.

The trend, in recent years, for manufacturers to reduce the assembly of cars to third parties, made it harder for Karmann to win new contracts. The manufacturer filed for bankruptcy in April when it was unable to pay for the retrenchments of 2 240 workers, half of its German workforce.

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