Koenigsegg: Origins and History
In the 1990’s, tradition ruled the world of performance cars. For decades, the same few automakers had dominated the market. Brands from countries like Germany, Italy, and Great Britain were established giants. They created vehicles that impressed with performance but lacked ground-breaking innovation. So, when a small company from Sweden began making cars for the next century, it shocked the automotive community. This is the story of that company; the origin and evolution of Koenigsegg.
Starting off with a mission to create the world’s best cars, Koenigsegg faced long odds from the beginning. For any expert, it seemed unlikely that a small start-up could create vehicles that rivaled the quality of established companies. Before long, Koenigsegg proved it could not only match these automakers, but it could also set new standards. Today, Koenigsegg vehicles exceed all expectations and continue to shape the future of super cars. No longer an underdog, Koenigsegg is well-known for its quality, luxury, and performance. The cars Koenigsegg produces shape the future of the industry as other automakers try to catch up with their innovation.
Christian von Koenigsegg
For Christian von Koenigsegg, a love of cars began at a very young age. In fact, it started when he was a five-year-old child and saw the movie “Flaklypa Grand Prix”. The Norwegian film told the story of a bicycle repair man who built a racecar from scratch. Against long odds, the car would beat the world’s best F1 racers. After seeing the movie, the young Koenigsegg told his parents he wanted to build cars when he grew up. Nobody at the time could have guessed the impact that movie would have, or how prophetic it would become for Koenigsegg.
Throughout his childhood, Koenigsegg held onto his dream and his love for sports cars. He began racing go karts at a young age, but his true calling was to build vehicles. An extremely bright child, he quickly learned the inner workings of automobiles. He was only 15 years old when he began selling and tuning moped scooters.
A Lifelong Dream, Realized
Even as a young man, Koenigsegg showed he was an exceptionally innovative and industrious person. He began working with technology but could not sell his earliest inventions. Still, Koenigsegg wanted to jump into the business world immediately. At 19, he founded a trading company which bought and sold goods such as frozen chicken. With this company, Koenigsegg made good money and quickly became wealthy. However, he was still set on his dream of building cars. After turning 22 years old, Koenigsegg made the decision to leave trading. He would use his new money to fund his own car company.
As any businessman knows, starting a new company is never simple. That is why Koenigsegg brought it upon himself to develop a comprehensive plan that captured his vision. According to Koenigsegg’s father, Jesko von Koenigsegg, the idea for Christian’s first car was already solidified. However, the idea of starting a company was met with resistance at first. After all, it represented a significant risk. Koenigsegg had already built one successful company. Now, he was trying to break into a competitive market with relatively little experience and few resources.
The elder Koenigsegg initially protested to his son’s idea of starting a car company. However, his opinion began to turn when he read Christian’s business plan. Jesko looked over the plan and realized it was extremely comprehensive. The foundation for the Koenigsegg brand was set, although hurdles still remained.
Needing additional support for the project, Koenigsegg turned to the Swedish Board for Industrial and Technical Development. Known as Nutek, the board was immediately impressed with Koenigsegg’s vision for the project. Nutek gave a $300,000 subsidy to Koenigsegg, giving him the resources needed to begin developing his first cars. While other investors may have balked at the plan, Nutek saw the potential and the eventual results surpassed all expectations.
Building the Perfect Sports Car
Now fully committed to building the perfect sports car, Koenigsegg quickly learned a valuable lesson. Getting such a powerful car to market takes time and effort. Lots of time and effort in fact. He wanted to have his first prototype built in just one year. He headed the project himself and took the lead designing and engineering the car. However, it soon became clear that more time was needed. Although the first prototype, the Koenigsegg CC, was introduced in 1996, it took over six years for a Koenigsegg car to hit the streets.
Come 2003, it was time at last to unveil Koenigsegg’s first production model, the CC8S. Disaster almost struck two weeks before the Geneva Motor Show. A fire broke out at Koenigsegg’s small facility which held the cars. Luckily, the team manages to save the vehicles and keep them ready for the public unveiling.
A New Leader in Performance Driving
Koenigsegg wasted no time asserting their place among the world’s best automakers. The CC8S had a 655-horsepower engine. At the time, this claimed the world record for most powerful production car. It was just the first in a long line of records the brand would set. As the first orders were placed and owners got their first test drives, it became clear. Koenigsegg was an instant success. Against all odds, these cars performed even better than famous models from the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. Today, Koenigsegg cars are considered in an elite class for performance and luxury.
From the beginning and still today, Koenigsegg operates differently than other automakers. They are still a small team that creates few examples compared to other top manufacturers. Christian von Koenigsegg remains a prominent figure in the automotive community. He closely and personally oversees all aspects of the cars’ design and production to ensure quality. Koenigsegg cars allow their customers an unmatched level of personalization. Buyers get specific input over the production of their vehicles, making sure each one is unique. For example, Koenigsegg has created diamond-covered keys and cars painted with gold leaf at the request of customers.
What started with the passion of a young boy has turned into a company that creates the world’s finest and most capable cars. Like in the movie that inspired him, Koenigsegg took on the top automakers. Now, his company has its own spot atop the industry. With every model, Koenigsegg comes closer to reaching his goal of creating the perfect car. Not bad for somebody who got their start building mopeds and selling frozen chicken.
To learn more about Koenigsegg cars, visit the experts at Koenigsegg Charlotte. We are North Carolina’s authorized Koenigsegg dealership. That means we have the resources you need for everything Koenigsegg. Our sales team can work with you to reserve a Koenigsegg model and communicate with the factory for unique specification. We also have an outstanding servicing staff for current Koenigsegg owners. If you want to learn more about Koenigsegg, you have come to the right place. Contact Koenigsegg Charlotte today for more information.