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Gurgel - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Gurgel cars

Gurgel was the brand of Gurgel Veículos, a Brazilian automobile manufacturer, named for its founder, João do Amaral Gurgel. The company was founded in 1969 and specialized in off-road vehicles, many of which were named after Brazil's native tribes. Early models were fiberglass bodies installed on Volkswagen Beetle (fusca) chasses and machinery. Gurgel introduced Brazil's first domestically designed car, the BR-800, but went out of business in the 1990s.

The real cause of Gurgel's bankruptcy was bad decisions with new politic, from Brazil government. While under total protectionism (1969-1989), Gurgel had prosperity, having as much as 1% of Brazilian car's market. In the late 1980s, then Brazilian president José Sarney gave a very great loan (without guarantees) to Gurgel, from Brazilian state bank. Sarney was so generous with Gurgel, that he had IPI (a Brazilian value tax) to others cars between 37% and 42%, while Gurgel BR-800 had the same IPI (a Brazilian value tax) of just 5% to BR-800. Along with BR-800 Gurgel also had the production of Gurgel Carajás, a "SUV" 4 x 2 wheel drive.In fact all Gurgel's vehicles, even the prototypes, were 4 X 2 wheel drive.

The end for Gurgel began when president Fernando Collor went to office in March, 1990.Fernando Collor opened Brazilian car market to foreign cars.Even then having a tax to foreign cars of 85%, the Gurgel Carajás were more expensive than Lada Niva, a SUV from then Soviet Union. The Gurgel's SUV's went out of the market. The last Gurgel Carajás was produced in 1991. In 1990, Fernando Collor also reduced the IPI (a Brazilian value tax) of Uno mille to 20% and sent the same level of tax to BR-800.

Beyond any doubt, Uno mille was more powerful and spacious than Gurgel BR-800. The price of both models was then similar.BR-800's sells droped to almost nothing in 1990.In 1992, Gurgel launched a car based on BR-800, the Supermini. Such as its similar model, the Supermini's sells were very small.Fernando Collor refused to give a loan(without guarantees) of about US$80,000,000 from BNDES to Gurgel. Even so, Gurgel got two loans; both of them from state's governments. One from BEC (then bank of Brazilian state of Ceará) and other loan from BANESPA - then bank of Brazilian state of São Paulo. Again, both loans hadn't any guarantee.Even with these generous loans, the Gurgel's sells remained very small. Just about 1,500 Supermini Gurgel's cars were produced, in 1992 and 1993.

In December 1992, Gurgel didn't pay all the salaries of its workers. On first months of 1993, Gurgel stopped all the production. In 1995, the final Gurgel's bankruptcy was decreed. The Gurgel's debt only with banks was about R$210,000,000 or US$100,000,000.Gurgel's patrimony was less than 3% of its debt. In fact, Gurgel's patrimony hadn't value even to pay the former workers. A Brazilian site claims that Gurgel's debt was about US$1,200,000,000.Between 1969 and 1993, Gurgel launched about 12 new vehicles. One of them was the first and of course last, Brazilian electric car in commercial production; a complete commercial failure.With the sole exception of "Xavante X" series produced mainly in 1970 decade, no Gurgel's product had any commercial success.The "Tocantins" was transformed into "Carajás".Carajás "SUV" was so expensive and bad, that when the importantion of Lada Niva was freed in 1990, by Fernando Collor Gurgel Carajás went out of production in a few months.Lada Niva got almost all Gurgel Carajás' market even Lada Niva having an importation's tax of 85% in 1990. Lada Niva was better and cheaper than Gurgel Carajás. Lada Niva also was a real 4 x 4 drive, while all Gurgel's SUV's were 4 x 2 . Against Uno mille Gurgel BR-800 and Gurgel Supermini were both worse, being far less spacious, potents and giving far more comfort ,than any Gurgel's cars.

Gurgel's founder and owner João do Amaral Gurgel was born in 1926. Some years after Gurgel's bankruptcy, João do Amaral Gurgel got Alzheimer's disease.

Important models

  • Gurgel Moplast >A very small vehicle, with fiberglass chasse.
  • Gurgel Ipanema > Another vehicle, bigger than Moplast.* Gurgel Xavante X10 >With fiberglass chasse and VW bettle mechanic. Some thousands produced in 1970 decade.
  • Gurgel Xavante X11 >Similar to Xavante X10, but from late 1970 decade.Some thousands produced.
  • Gurgel Xavante X12 >Also similar to Xavante X10.Some thousands produced in 1980 decade.
  • Gurgel Tocantins >An evolution of Xavante X12.Bigger motor, 4 X 2 and also with fiberglass chasse. Produced, under total state's protectionism in 1980 decade.During all years of its production, to import cars was out of law, in Brazil.Black roof, making it very hot in Brazil's climate.Was a commercial success, exported for 40 countries.
  • Gurgel Carajás > An evolution of Gurgel Tocantins.Better in many aspects, than Gurgel Tocantins.In first years of its production, it had commercial success because of total protectionism in Brazil until 1990.In last semester of 1990, Lada Niva entered in Brazilian SUV market.In a few months, Gurgel Carajás lost all of its market.Such as Gurgel Tocantins, Gurgel Carajás had a black roof, making it very hot under Brazilian climate.The last Gurgel Carajás was produced in January 1991. No Gurgel SUV was produced, after Gurgel Carajás.
  • Gurgel X15 > Few units protected.
  • Gurgel X20 > Few units protected.
  • Gurgel E500 > Few units protected.
  • Gurgel G800 > Few units protected.
  • Gurgel XEF > A small vehicle.Only about one hundred Gurgel XEF were produced.Only for three persons.
  • Gurgel BR-800 > The first was produced in late 1988. Limited commercial success in 1989. Then Brazilian President José Sarney gave Gurgel a very generous loan, without guarantees.Then BR-800 was the only vehicle, in Brazil, to have an IPI (a Brazilian value tax) of just 5%. All other vehicles had this tax value between 37% and 42%. In 1990, then Brazilian president Fernando Collor gave the same IPI level of BR-800 to the Uno mille from FIAT. BR-800 could have only four adults on it. BR-800 had a terrible ventilation system. In Brazilian climate, BR-800 was hot. Gurgel motors survived in 1991, because of generous loans (without guarantees) from two Brazilian states: Ceará and São Paulo.Gurgel BR-800 was produced between 1988 and 1991. Only about 3,000 Gurgel BR-800 were produced.
  • Gurgel Supermini > Produced between 1992 and 1993. An adaptation of BR-800, being better in almost everything than BR-800. The last Gurgel's vehicle to have commercial production.
  • Gurgel Motomachine > Only 177 were produced.

All Gurgel's vehicles had fiberglass. Fiberglass is a very good solution for the clime, many Brazilians cities are near to the sea, and we have oxidations problems, fiberglass does not have oxidation.

  • Gurgel Supermini was an evolution of BR-800.Gurgel Supermini was better than BR-800. The second source of money for Gurgel was its jeep's production, something Gurgel began in 1970. Having no competition, with car imports illegal in Brazil. In January 1991, the last Gurgel's jeep was produced. With both sources of money over, Gurgel survived only because of two loans (without guarantees) from two Brazilian states, in 1991. In December of 1992, Gurgel was incapable of even paying all salaries of all its workers.In march of 1993, Gurgel paid nothing to its workers. Gurgel's bankruptcy was decree first in 1994. Gurgel even made an attempt to have another Brazilian loan, without guarantees. Gurgel's debt was bigger than, thirty time its value. Gurgel never got this loan. Brazilian justice decree final Gurgel's bankruptcy, in 1995.

Today the trade mark "Gurgel" is used, by a small factory of small tricycles, also in Brazil. This new "Gurgel" has nothing in common with old "Gurgel" company, except its name. The Gurgel's vehicles are rare, in Brazilian ways today. A Brazilian site (in Portuguese) with almost all Gurgel's vehicles is .

List of all Gurgel cars

Source: Wikipedia


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