German tuner Gemballa shuts down – owner still missing

German tuner Gemballa shuts down – owner still missing

Tuning firm Gemballa has reportedly closed its doors, following the mysterious disappearance of its founder Uwe Gemballa.

While details are still few, it’s well known the Gemballa company has been in financial strife and went from earning €16.2m in 2007 to €8m in 2009. Given the economic recession this isn’t strange but apparently some dubious transactions put added strain on the company. In January this year Uwe Gemballa fearing a collapse was imminent decided to seek out investors in Dubai and South Africa.

On February 8th, Uwe arrived in Johannesburg for a brief two-day business trip. But on the evening of February 9th, Uwe made a call to his son and told him he had an accident and desperately needed one million dollars. This was the last time he has been heard from.

So what exactly happened, no one really knows. Speculation and theories are being thrown around and include the obvious like a planned disappearance to a ransom plot gone awry, but South African police believe Uwe did fall victim to a crime.

Uwe’s mysterious disappearance has now resulted in the full closure of his company. Gemballa will be missed in the tuning world and was best known for taking high-performance supercars  and making them even faster and more ostentatious. Porsches, Ferraris and AMG Mercs will all be a little safer now.

See the gallery below for images of the Gemballa shop and some of its creations.

Tuning firm Gemballa has reportedly closed its doors, following the mysterious disappearance of its founder Uwe Gemballa.

While details are still few, it’s well known the Gemballa company has been in financial strife and went from earning €16.2m in 2007 to €8m in 2009. Given the economic recession this isn’t strange but apparently some dubious transactions put added strain on the company. In January this year Uwe Gemballa fearing a collapse was imminent decided to seek out investors in Dubai and South Africa.

On February 8th, Uwe arrived in Johannesburg for a brief two-day business trip. But on the evening of February 9th, Uwe made a call to his son and told him he had an accident and desperately needed one million dollars. This was the last time he has been heard from.

So what exactly happened, no one really knows. Speculation and theories are being thrown around and include the obvious like a planned disappearance to a ransom plot gone awry, but South African police believe Uwe did fall victim to a crime.

Uwe’s mysterious disappearance has now resulted in the full closure of his company. Gemballa will be missed in the tuning world and was best known for taking high-performance supercars  and making them even faster and more ostentatious. Porsches, Ferraris and AMG Mercs will all be a little safer now.

See the gallery below for images of the Gemballa shop and some of its creations.

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