Dany Bahar, along with his fellow former Lotus employees, designer Mihai Panaitescu and research and development star Wolf Zimmermann, are the movers and shakers behind Ares, an Italian car company offering something different.
Modena-based Ares is offering its clients a new way to personalize the luxury cars they purchase. They will take a high-end car such as a sports car like Bugatti or Aston Martin Rapide, or a sedan like a Bentley Continental GT or a Rolls Royce, and it give it a makeover to the specific requirements of each owner. The finished product is as unique as the client’s own fingerprints.
“The client is fully involved and that is something really exciting,” says Bahar. “These clients are wealthy people, important people but you touch them on an emotional level, where they become like children. They say, ‘I want the rear lamp, like this, not like this’.”
Dany Bahar’s clients have the money to spend on any car they wish. It is not a problem to go the extra distance budget-wise, to get the car that is a true and complete reflection of their inner driver.
“Even if a client is buying a £2 million car they are really not that interested in how it works… as long as it’s fun to drive and it works. His concern is sitting in the car and enjoying the environment he has created on his own. To sit in these four small walls and to enjoy it and call it his own, designed by himself,” Bahar explains.
Ares and Bahar are exploiting a trend which has been propelling a move towards customization. As he states:
“Individualization is becoming so big – you can do everything, shoes, shirts, watches, everything,” he says.
With cars, however, until Ares came along, buyers could only choose the car’s color, wood trim, leather seats, and the like. Even if there were only 400 or so cars manufactured in that series, there can still be many cars that are exactly the same. Bahar and Ares correct this problem.
“If I spent £2 million on this car and I am in central London I don’t want to see two more Bugattis. I don’t want to see the same,” Bahar says. “Having something you cannot buy anywhere else is what fascinates clients. This was the main reason we launched Ares… to take, for example, a Bugatti and give it a makeover, a real makeover.”