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Romano Artioli (born 1932)[1] is an Italian entrepreneur and one-time owner of Bugatti and Lotus automobile makers.

Artioli was born in Moglia of the Province of Mantua, and raised in Bolzano where he in the 1980s ran one of the largest Ferrari dealerships in the world, selling in northern Italy and southern Germany.[2] He also imported Japanese cars, owning Autoexpò which in 1982 became the first Italian importer of Suzuki.[3]

He had a large collection of french Bugatti automobiles, and was encouraged by Ferrucio Lamborghini and Paolo Stanzani to establish Bugatti International, a holding company that bought the Bugatti trademark name in 1987. Artioli became chairman of the Bugatti Automobilie S.p.A. which made the Bugatti EB110 1991-95. In 1993, his wife Renata Kettmeir formed the Bolzano-based Ettore Bugatti luxury item maker, also using the Bugatti "EB" logo. Their involvement ended September 1995 due to bankruptcy,[4] and the company was eventually bought by Volkswagen in April 1998.

Artioli purchased Lotus from General Motors in August 1993 and became it's chairman until 1996 when he stepped down to be Special Projects director until 1998. He sold a majority stake to Proton in 1996 to fund his losses due to the insolvency of Bugatti.

His daughter Elena Artioli (born 1970) is a politician for the Südtiroler Volkspartei and Lega Nord Sud Tirolo.[5] The Lotus Elise was named after Romano Artioli's granddaughter Elisa Artioli.

References

  1. ^ Paolo Artemi, Bugatti, la fabbrica di sogni in Corriere della Sera (Dec 28, 1993)
  2. ^ See Automobile Quarterly, vol. 46, issue 2 (2006)
  3. ^ Maurizio Caldero, Buon compleanno Suzuki: da 25 anni anche in Italia in Repubblica (June 7, 2007).
  4. ^ John Tagliabue, Hard Times for a Dream Car's Descendant in New York Times (November 23, 1995)
  5. ^ elenaartioli.com
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