Obituary: Bodo Buschmann, founder of the Brabus tuning company

The tireless, hard-working visionary who turned his passion for Mercedes-Benz vehicles into the world's largest independent tuning company, has died aged 62

Bodo Buschmann, the founder and CEO of Brabus, renowned for its high-performance Mercedes-Benz conversions, passed away on April 26 after a short illness.

He was a car enthusiast from an early age, and founded Brabus GmbH in Bottrop, Germany in autumn 1977 while he was still studying law and business management. From the start, the company concentrated on the tuning and refinement of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The first Brabus base, a small workshop on the street behind his parent’s car dealership, quickly became too small, which led to the move to the first dedicated company building, which is still used today as Brabus Plant 1.

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The company grew quickly, gaining a worldwide reputation, thanks to Bodo Buschmann's instinct for successful ideas and products. He gave everything he had to the company, from early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week. Throughout his four decades of company history, Bodo Buschmann (seen below in the 1980s) had usually put in a 40-hour week by the Wednesday of every week.

Supercars such as the Brabus 900 Rocket, with a top speed in excess of 370km/h, not only made automotive history, but also made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Colleagues say that Bodo Buschmann was a role model to everyone at Brabus, with his ambition, professionalism and hard work. He set standards for the entire industry all his life and always stayed true to his motto: 'Never work for money – work for passion!'

A statement from the company says, 'The entire BRABUS family, employees, customers, and friends around the world will miss him forever, mourn the loss of a visionary and man of action, but above all the loss of the man, teammate and friend Bodo Buschmann, who put his mark on the tuning industry like no other.

'However, the model entrepreneur from Bottrop would not have been Bodo Buschmann, had he not set the right course for the future of his company long ago. The next generation of the family has already been taking on important responsibilities in management for some time.

'First and foremost, Constantin Buschmann, who as CMO was previously responsible for Marketing and Sales on the executive board. As CEO of BRABUS Group, he takes over all responsibilities of his father with immediate effect. Other key positions remain in the hands of long-time BRABUS institutions, with Dipl. Ing. Ulrich-Joachim Gauffrés serving as CTO Management Technology and Stefan Hosters as CFO Management Finances and HR.

'The executive board, the entire BRABUS team and his family will continue Prof. h.c. Bodo Buschmann life’s work as he would have wanted.'

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