The rumors of a few weeks ago are confirmed. Auto motor und Sport magazine informs that Mercedes has taken over employees, spare parts, and tools from the insolvent restorer Kienle Automobiltechnik in a so-called asset-deal.
Mercedes-Benz Heritage GmbH has expansion plans and has considered taking over the restoration firm Kienle Automobiltechnik GmbH. After negotiations broke down a year ago, on 1 February 2024, Mercedes concluded an asset deal and will take over employees, spare parts, and tools belonging to Kienle Automobiltechnik.
The Kienle employees will be integrated into the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. The Auto Motor und Sport car magazine informs that it is not a question of a complete takeover of Kienle Automobiltechnik but only of a part of the company.
In the first phase, the Kienle employees will continue to work at the current location in Heimerdingen, but in the future, Mercedes wants to open another Classic Center in Stuttgart in addition to the existing Classic Center in Fellbach.
Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage GmbH, said Mercedes wants to grow the classic car business, set new standards, and generate higher profits. Last year, Mercedes integrated the museum, classic car collection, archive, and Classic Center into one company.
The head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage wants to build up expertise in the restoration of collector vehicles – also with the help of the new employees from Kienle.
Mercedes also plans to build its sheet metal shop in the Classic Center. Breitschwerdt told Auto Motor und Sport magazine that Mercedes “must be a reference in the market. And to do this, we have to bundle this very special know-how back with us.”
Kienle Automobiltechnik remains in bankruptcy proceedings
Mercedes only took over employees, tools, and spare parts, but liabilities and risks remained with the insolvent company. Fraud investigations continue against Kienle Automobiltechnik, but a lawsuit between Kienle and a customer has been suspended due to Kienle Automobiltechnik entering insolvency proceedings.
Kienle filed for bankruptcy proceedings at the end of October 2023, 5 months after the suspected fraud. Former owner and CEO Klaus Kienle is no longer allowed to come to the headquarters and can no longer make decisions in the company.
Kienle Automobiltechnik GmbH was founded in 1984, has 53 employees, and is world-renowned for restoring Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, Mercedes 600s, and pre-World War II models.