Thursday 29 November 2012
Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH (Bitter) is a premium sports-luxury automobile marque originally produced in Germany and later Austria. Founder Erich Bitter, a former race car driver turned automobile tuner, importer and ultimately designer began crafting his own vehicles after business ventures with Italian manufacture Intermeccanica ended.
The Bitter automobile company initially produced vehicles between 1973 and 1989, selling them in Europe and the United States. Several prototypes were created by Bitter in later years with an eye on possible low-volume production, but none of those plans came to fruition until the Vero in 2007.
The first SC model to appear was the Coupe (1979), followed by the Convertible (1982) and the Sedan (1984). Production lasted until 1989 with 461 Coupes, 22 Convertibles and only 5 Sedans built.
In 1984 it was announced at the New York Auto Show that Bitter would enter into a limited marketing agreement with General Motors in North America to market the sedan in the United States through participating Buick dealerships. A major reason for the venture was GM hoped to take back market share that was being lost to BMW at the time, but concerns were the Opel line was too entry level for the task. Ultimately, less than a dozen Buick dealers, mostly in the metro New York City area, would bear Bitter signage and few Bitter cars were actually sold in the U.S.
The ultimate failure of the Bitter brand was rooted in its business model. As was popular in the late 1970s and 1980s, rebodied vehicles from other manufactures gave rise to smaller automobile companies. The Bitter vehicles were based on components from Opel. This approach became unpopular in the late 1980s and doomed the brand.
- engine: V8
- capacity: 3500 cc
- horsepower: 200 HP
- gearbox: 3+1
- top speed: 190 km/h