VW Announces Plan To Buy Karmann's Assets, Build New Car

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Karmann, contract carmaker extraordinaire and perhaps most famous for the Karmann Ghia Volkswagen Beetle conversion, went out of business in June. But the brand's spirit may yet live on, as VW today announced its plans to buy the company's assets and set about construction of a new model.

We brought you word that VW was considering just such a move late last month, and today's news confirms the plan. Of course, whether the cars that eventually come out of the Osnabruck, Germany plant are in any way Karmann-inspired remains in doubt.

VW could simply be acquiring the contract manufacturer's wide base of tooling. Karmann of late specialized in convertibles, building the Mercedes-Benz CLK for Mercedes-Benz, for example. While the intellectual property of those designs won't be part of the transaction, much of the equipment used to manufacture convertible tops likely will be.

One potential for manufacture at such a site would be the Bluesport roadster-based model that has been rumored for use at VW, Porsche and Audi. The Porsche version has been alternately envisioned as a revival of the 914 or a rebirth of the 356. Audi's take on the small roadster would come in the form of the e-tron powered R4, most likely, though that might also imply a hard-top version as well.

Whatever VW ends up building in Osnabruck, it will roll off the line in 2011. Until then, we'll just have to let our imaginations run wild.

[Detroit News, MSNBC]

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