Luxury car designer Erich Bitter seek investors to fund another comeback attempt

Braunschweig. Car designer Erich Bitter, who presented a luxury coupe at the Geneva car show in March, is attempting to raise money to begin small series production at the end of 2004.

A 12-page investment brochure is headlined "Highly profitable investment within the luxury car segment." The aim is to fund the car, which will sell for approximately 110,000 euros, through selling dividend certificates, a "mix between shares in the company and bonds." Over a period of five years investors are promised a return on investment of between 8 percent and 13 percent.

Bitter first exhibited at the IAA 30 years ago. Some 396 units of the Bitter CD with a V8 engine by Opel were sold. The successor SC was launched in 1980 and was based on the Opel Senator. Bitter's recipe - exclusivity and performance coupled with solid volume series engineering - even worked well in the USA, until the company was forced to stop production in 1986 due to financial difficulties. A total of 630 SCs were built.

Since then Bitter has made a few attempts at building new models, but without success. Instead he earned his money with engineering contracts, for clients such as Isuzu America.

Since 1998 Bitter GmbH has been based at the former Buessing plant in Braunschweig. Today 53 employees work there for VW's research and development department. Bitter is satisfied with his current business outlook, saying: "We have enough work for the next six months." In 2002 the company had a turnover of 2.7 million euros.

Bitter has never abandoned his dream of building a new car. The new Bitter coupe is based on the Holden Monaro, an eight-cylinder model with 344hp.

Currently Bitter is negotiating the supply of basic models with General Motors's Australian subsidiary. The negotiations are slow because GM's concerns about product liability.

Bitter hopes to be building 100 cars per annum, which will only be sold within Europe. IAV in Gifhorn, half owned by VW, will be responsible for the tool development and sheet panels will be molded at Salzgitter Automotive Engineering in Osnabrueck.

Bitter will not exhibit at the IAA in Frankfurt. He prefers to focus on his negotiations with Holden and on selling 6,000 dividend certificates at 1,000 euros each.

Finanzconsult management consulting in Bonn is looking after the selling of the certificates. The management consultants only demand payment in the case of success, which makes Bitter optimistic.

Finanzconsult examined Bitter GmbH, which was founded in 1971, and certified the company's financial credibility. The dividend certificates apply to the whole company. The dividends will be generated from total profits.

Bitter can't get enough from his new two-door car, which will probably be called CD II. He even spent August 11 behind the steering wheel, on his way from Marbella to Braunschweig and "with an average speed of 112 kilometers per hour". It was his 70th birthday.

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