While larger firms hold their breath, the cottage brands may thrive.
Marc Philipp Gemballa, son of Uwe, to re-enter the ultra-limited-series car business
For decades, German aftermarket outfit Gemballa has been the company to call for Porsches with outrageous slant nose body kits, champagne*-soaked interiors (*best case), hi-fi systems requiring an extra battery, and camera systems instead of mirrors—a cutting-edge feature pioneered by company founder Uwe Gemballa. After making sure nobody could stay indifferent about his creations throughout the ‘80s and the ‘90s, Gemballa glided into the 21st century by coming up with its wildest creations to date, the Porsche Carrera GT-based Mirage GT, and the MIG-U1, built out of nothing short of a Ferrari Enzo.
Unfortunately, ten years ago, the business took a wrong turn, resulting in Uwe Gemballa’s murder in South Africa. At the time, his son, Marc Philipp, was still in high school. Now, having worked for Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche, the 26-year-old set up a new namesake company. The family business is back, and with a twist.
Marc Philipp Gemballa argues that the market has changed, and since the horsepower game is over and OEMs now do tuning themselves, his brand should offer something different for the privileged aftermarket of the 2020s.
With partners on board, such as Alan Derosier (design), KW Automotive (suspensions), Michelin & BF Goodrich (tires), Akrapovic (exhaust systems), Staud Studios (marketing), DS Fasertechnik (carbon fiber), and VELA Performance (engineering), Gemballa’s Geneva-bound “First Project” has been in development for two years. It should spawn a limited series of supercars with off-road capabilities. In other words, a very quick luxury crossover.
Gemballa says the project is completely funded, and the first client orders have already been taken, even before the car’s private viewing that is scheduled during the 2020 Geneva Motor Show next week. Like his father’s projects, this one is bound to turn heads.
Like his father’s projects, this one is bound to turn heads.