Wilhelm Karmann GmbH in Osnabr￼ck, Germany is the largest independent motor vehicle company in Germany. Over the course of more than a century, they have undertaken various roles, from design to production and assembly of components, for various automobile manufacturers including Chrysler, Porsche, and Volkswagen.
Some of the most well-known cars produced by Karmann in the 20th century are the VW Beetle cabriolet (1949-1980), and, most closely associated with the Karmann name, the Karmann Ghia. Between 1955 and 1974, 443,482 Karmann Ghias were manufactured, placing their own sports car-style body on the chassis of the Volkswagen Beetle. Later in the 20th century, they assembled the Scirocco, Corrado, and Cabriolet for Volkswagen. As the original company was Karmann Coachworks, a coach builder, Volkswagen models built by Karmann display a small wagon wheel emblem. Karmann also built the Ford Sierra for the American market, sold under the Merkur brand by Lincoln/Mercury dealers.
A significant project because it involved an entirely American car, was Karmann's assembly of complete knock down (CKD) kits in an agreement with American Motors (AMC). In 1968, AMC introduced the Javelin, a new competitor in the U.S. "pony car" segment. AMC did not have a manufacturing subsidiary in Europe, therefore, Karmann assembled the American designed car for distribution in Europe. Karmann built the cars in Rheine with 343 cu in (5.6 L) V8 engines and they were named "Javelin 79-K".
Karmann is best known today for its work on cabriolets. It provides roof-components for many current cabriolet automobiles, such as the Mercedes-Benz CLK, the Renault M￩gane CC and the Volkswagen New Beetle Cabrio. Both the headquarters in Osnabr￼ck and the additional facility in Rheine also construct complete vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, the Audi A4 Cabrio, the Mercedes-Benz CLK, and the Chrysler Crossfire. A small number of vehicles are also produced in Brazil S￣o Bernardo do Campo.
Other facilities at Sunderland UK, Puebla Mexico, and Plymouth U.S. are manufacturing roof systems for the Nissan Micra C+C, Volkswagen New Beetle Cabrio, and Pontiac G6, respectively.
A large part of the development of the Chrysler Crossfire was done independently by Karmann, and the vehicle is produced at their Osnabr￼ck facility. Karmann also supplies the top for the third-generation Chrysler Sebring (convertible).
Much of the material on this website is copyrighted. Original articles appearing herein are subject to copyright. Please don't copy stuff from the site without asking; it may belong to someone! Any trademarks appearing on this site are the sole property of the registered owners. No endorsement by trademark owners is to be construed. The products, brand names, characters, related slogans and indicia are or may by claimed as trademarks of their respective owners. Every effort has been made whenever possible to credit the sources. The use of such material falls under the Fair Use provisions of intellectual property laws.