With the ABT RS6 “1 of 12” and the ABT TT RS-R, ABT has two winners in the tuning categories of the AUTO BILD SPORTSCARS OF THE YEAR 2017 readers’ choice awards – in the categories “Sedans & Station Wagons” and “Sportscars & Roadsters”. But the most exciting result for the family-run company is another award which was presented to its charismatic CEO during a ceremony in Essen on December 1: Hans-Jürgen Abt received the title of “Business Personality of the Year” for his services in the areas of tuning and motorsports from the German car magazines AUTO BILD SPORTSCARS and AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT. “Numerous motorsport victories, from DTM to GT racing to Formula E pave the team manager’s road of life,” said laudator Stefan Müller: “Beside motorsport, tuning cars from the Volkswagen group is the biggest branch of business, Hans-Jürgen Abt lead to global success.” Moreover, race driver Mattias Ekström, who knows ABT Sportsline and Hans-Jürgen Abt very well, told some exciting stories about their time together.
Hans-Jürgen Abt was born in Kempten on December 24, 1962 and began training as a forwarding agent in 1980 and then as a car mechanic. In 1991 he took over the tuning department in his parents’ company and transferred it to the newly founded ABT Sportsline GmbH group of companies, which has over 180 employees today. ABT Schweiz was established in Switzerland in the year 2000, followed by ABT Asia in 2008, expanding the export network which had already grown to include 60 markets worldwide. Today, the tuning portfolio of the company includes power boosts, aerodynamic packages, alloy wheels, suspensions, brakes and customized interior conversions for vehicles from VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda. For development and production, the company follows the highest standards and quality guidelines, so that even car dealerships and country organizations have had their own special models with power boost developed and built by ABT.
The turn of the millennium also saw ABT making its entrance in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), quickly establishing itself in what is still the most important touring car series today. So far, ABT has been able to win nine team and driver’s titles and has been officially racing for Audi since 2004. With the entrance into the Formula E in 2014, the German company once again electrified its fans, sparking enthusiasm for the motorsport of the future. In 2017, the company then won the first title in this series with Lucas di Grassi. Even Audi were impressed by this performance, so much so that the Audi Group has now taken over the entire Formula E team from Hans-Jürgen Abt. The team still retains its home at the premises of ABT Sportsline in Kempten, though. “I feel very honored by the awards presented today and want to say thank you once again to the readers and to the editors: for the trust placed in me and for the great interest in our vehicles and products,” Hans-Jürgen Abt said.