When it comes to exotic and luxury automotive tuning, some of the most well-known household names that come to mind include brands like Brabus, Mansory, Singer Vehicle Design, NOVITEC, and more. However, there’s one exotic and luxury tuner that’s been steadily climbing the ranks for nearly two decades now but that remains one of the unsung heroes of exotic auto tuning and that is DMC.
The German-based tuner, which since its launch has expanded into the American, Middle Eastern and Asian markets, primarily focuses on bespoke carbon fiber modifications for ultra-luxury and exotic vehicles — with an aim to make the impossible happen for its clients and their dreams a reality.
To learn more about DMC and understand what drives automotive enthusiasts to modify their exotic vehicles, which in their own regard are already works of art, we spoke with DMC’s CEO, Greg Schoener. During our conversation, he takes us through the brand’s origin, pivotal moments, monumental builds, concept to product process and provides access to one of his most recent high-profile clients for their insights on the modification of their 2023 Maserati MC20 GT2.
The origins of DMC can be traced back to Schoener’s father, a seasoned car tuner since 1956 who in the post-war era, contributed to the emerging trends in vehicle modification, particularly through VW Beetles. Notably, Schoener explained that his father primarily worked from the shadows “preferring the craft over the limelight.”
When Schoener turned 18, he expressed a desire to follow his father’s path but he was advised against it due to the physically demanding nature of the work. Instead, his father encouraged him to pursue formal education. Heeding this advice, he pursued a career in banking but maintained a persistent passion for the automotive realm.
Fast forward to 2009, with a confluence of financial expertise and a passion for cars, Schoener established DMC. “The brand emerged as a bridge between traditional tuning craftsmanship and contemporary business acumen. The story of DMC embodies a fusion of family legacy and innovation, with roots deeply embedded in the evolving landscape of automotive modification,” he shared.
For a DMC product or build to go from concept to reality, the tuner and its team deploy an intricate process, utilizing everything from sketching to CNC machining.
The product first begins in the conceptualization stage with sketching primarily done by Schoener, then it goes into the stage of technical design and aerodynamics which includes the use of 3D scanning to capture every contour of the vehicle.
“The design must not only be visually appealing but also aerodynamically optimized for enhanced performance.”
From there, the product goes into a 3D design and simulation phase, using the data from the scans and advanced software like wind tunnel simulations to test out the designs before bringing them into the physical form. Once these tests are complete, the product goes to the prototyping and fitment testing stage — a stage that is crucial to the modification’s seamless integration with the existing vehicle structure.
This is followed by CNC machining molds, a precision production stage that serves as the foundation for the carbon fiber production that follows. At this stage, DMC’s craftsmanship comes into play, “The molds crafted with precision guide the formation of lightweight yet robust carbon fiber parts that will adorn the enhanced vehicle,” Schoener expressed.
From here the parts go into the final installation and presentation, a culminating event for DMC and a moment of transformation for the client’s vehicle. Schoener explained that at this stage, “The final product is then presented to the world, a blend of engineering precision and artistic vision.”
DMC shared that the timeline and cost for these bespoke parts and builds can range anywhere from $10,000 USD to up to $1,000,000 USD in some cases and may take up to six to ten months depending on the complexity of the project.
Highlighting a few pivotal moments that would lead DMC into being what it is today, Schoener expressed that he strategically turned his attention to the realm of supercars.
“Market analysis revealed a saturation of tuning companies specializing in German exotics, with some venturing into the territories of Ferrari, Porsche, and Maserati. However, Lamborghini seemed to be a niche awaiting exploration,” he said.
While he did acknowledge the presence of established names like Hamann Motorsport and its Murcielago mods, Schoener sensed an opportunity to introduce fresh, innovative designs to the market — something he began to implement in 2009.
The turning point for DMC materialized with the Murcielago project, affirming Schoener’s belief in the untapped potential of Lamborghini modifications. He explained that this success fueled his determination, prompting a deeper dive into the Lamborghini landscape.
Jumping to 2012, with the unveiling of the Aventador. Despite financial constraints preventing Schoener from acquiring the entire car, he strategically sourced individual components, leveraging a network of friends and enthusiasts cultivated over three years. This makeshift Aventador became the canvas for DMC’s next masterpiece, the Molto Veloce.
Following its completion, the unveiling of the DMC Molto Veloce at the Top Marques Supercar Show in Monaco marked a pivotal moment for the brand. In an era when traditional tuners were slow to embrace social media, Schoener leveraged these emerging platforms to catapult DMC into the global spotlight.
At the time of writing, DMC currently offers over 160 Lamborghini modification products, available for the Aventador, Gallardo, Huracan, Murcielago, Revuelto, and Urus.
Elevated to Bespoke
When most people think of vehicle modification or tuning, the first thought is usually the JDM cars, as it’s the most common segment for the practice. While modification in the luxury and exotic markets certainly does exist and continues to grow in popularity, some enthusiasts might ask why customize a vehicle that is already a work of art on its own, as it is.
“DMC’s clients, who seek customization for their high-end vehicles are often discerning enthusiasts with a profound appreciation for automotive artistry and craftsmanship,” shared Schoener.
He explained that these clients understand that a vehicle, even one as exceptional as a Lamborghini or another exotic, can be elevated to a bespoke masterpiece. Schoener further shared that “In the world of high-performance automobiles, enthusiasts who opt for customization by DMC are driven by the desire for a unique identity, personalized performance enhancements, and a connection with the brand on a deeper level.”
Schoener noted that the trend isn’t unique to DMC either but that it’s also the reason buyers look to ultra-luxury brands like Pagani and Bugatti, seeking out exclusivity and a personalized touch that often ends up playing a pivotal role in the purchasing decision.
“We believe that personalization should have no boundaries, enabling clients to choose unconventional colors and design elements that reflect their individual style.”
Notably, DMC approaches its builds with a focus on carbon fiber. “While many supercar brands use carbon fiber sparingly, usually as an optional extra, DMC integrates this lightweight and robust material extensively from the inception of our designs. Unlike stock models that often launch with plastic components, DMC’s tuning packages are crafted with an abundance of carbon fiber, transforming the car into a sleek and high-performance masterpiece,” explained Schoener.
He added that the brand aims to go above and beyond the norm, offering carbon fiber weaves, with a goal to introduce exclusivity to every aspect of the vehicle. In some cases, this is achieved through innovative approaches like weaving 24K gold into the carbon fiber to create a more opulent touch.
In the area of interior customization, DMC employs Italian leather options. While OEM builders in some cases limit color choices, DMC offers a range inspired by high fashion houses like Gucci, Prada, and Roberto Corsa. “We believe that personalization should have no boundaries, enabling clients to choose unconventional colors and design elements that reflect their individual style,” Schoener shared.
The true highlight of DMC’s work, however, is its aero kits, which aim to push the envelope through the reintroduction of large wing spoilers, something not commonly found on modern supercars.
DMC’s methods are also something that initially set it apart, in addition to unique customizations and bespoke tailoring, the tuner aims to also preserve the original vehicle’s warranty.
“In 2009, DMC pioneered a transformative approach to supercar tuning by refraining from invasive modifications,” explained Schoener, adding “Instead of cutting into the vehicle for customizations like integrating grill vents, DMC opted for a more innovative strategy. We introduced a method of copying the complete fender, allowing for a seamless swap between the original OEM fender and the customized version with integrated vents. Although initially perceived as more expensive, this practice has become an industry standard, demonstrating DMC’s commitment to innovation and non-intrusive tuning solutions.”
One of DMC’s most recent projects was the DMC Maserati MC20 GT2, a build for a private client, who for the sake of anonymity will be referred to as “Alexander Wong.”
Schoener explained “The whole process was actually rather exciting. It included a high-profile buyer who wanted to stay anonymous, seeking to build a car that had not even been officially launched at his location, asking us if we could realize his dream. The whole process really sounded like a story at times, but that turned out to be true facts which made it even more amazing.”
He further shared that the project kicked off with a discreet call from a renowned Hong Kong designer, who despite this fact was mostly shrouded in anonymity. This call initiated a cross-continental project — the customization of the soon-to-arrive Maserati MC20 GT2.
“The twist? The vehicle had not yet touched down on Hong Kong soil. So how could we capture the car’s 3D shape, needed for development?” Schoener questioned, adding “this logistical challenge propelled us on a global search, leading to the discovery of a rare white MC20 residing at the DMC Official Importer in Brazil. He recently secured ownership of the car from a first delivery client in Italy. A stroke of luck or a meticulously orchestrated alignment of stars? Regardless, it marked the genesis of a compelling journey.”
Venturing to Latin America, the DMC team brought with them their cutting-edge 3D scanning tools and got to work capturing the vehicle in precise digital detail. From here, the tuner ran through the process we broke down earlier and reached the prototyping stage.
“As the project unfolded, a remarkable detail emerged — the pick-up of the car directly from the designer’s office. Transported to our Hong Kong workshop, where the MC20 underwent a carefully orchestrated installation process,” Schoener shared.
Notably, Schoener was requested by the client to handle the installation himself, something he said is a “rare concession that attests to the unique nature of this collaboration.”
“In essence, DMC is not just modifying a car; they are sculpting a reflection of my identity and passion for design.”
At the time of writing, the project is still underway, having completed Stage 1, which includes the installation of the exhaust and a rear wing. Next steps will see the completion of the remaining carbon fiber elements, enveloping the car’s front and sides.
To learn more about the project from the client’s perspective and what would drive someone to modify, what in the Hong Kong market is well over a $250,000 USD vehicle, we spoke directly with Wong. “The decision to customize my Maserati MC20 stems from a desire for exclusivity and a touch of personalization that goes beyond what the stock vehicle offers,” he shared.
Expanding on this, he shared that he wanted his vehicle to tell a story and to embody a design language that resonated with his aesthetic preferences, noting that his vision for the vehicle, through DMC, was able to take the MC20 to the next level.
Having a background in industrial design, Wong has been deeply involved in the process, sharing that one of the aspects he’s appreciated most is the collaborative approach DMC offers.
“From the initial concept discussions to the fine-tuning of every detail, they valued my input. It’s not just about customizing a car; it’s a shared creative journey where my vision is translated into reality. In essence, DMC is not just modifying a car; they are sculpting a reflection of my identity and passion for design,” Wong expressed.
Additional notable projects over the years have included the DMC Aventador Molto Veloce, a build that Schoener shared marked his brand’s entry into the upper echelons of the tunning world — notably the very same owned and driven by Justin Bieber. Others include the DMC Rolls Royce Ghost “Sarang-Hae Edition,” representing DMC’s break into the Asia market, created for Korean megastar Jang Keun Suk and last but not least is the DMC AMG G63 ZEUSS, one that Schoener said is a personal favorite.
“The G-Class AMG G63 ZEUSS exemplifies dreams turned into reality. This project holds the title of being the widest street-legal G-Class globally, showcasing our commitment to pushing boundaries,” he shared.
Evolution and Expansion
Looking forward Schoener shared that he is looking forward to every new chapter that lies ahead and the chance to explore undiscovered innovations as well as continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the tuning world.
“The essence of DMC lies not just in the products we create but in the stories etched into every design, every installation, and every collaboration. From sketching the blueprint of a new concept to the tangible realization of a bespoke masterpiece, the journey unfolds with an allure of unpredictability,” he said.
Part of this journey has included keeping the trade in the family, with Schoener often teaching his children about the craft, just as his father taught him. He also works to incorporate easter eggs, like the serial number found in the first 3D hologram sticker of his carbon fiber parts indicating his first daughter’s birthday and initials.
As for the lion in the brand’s logo, it represents the town of Duesseldorf Germany, where both Schoener and his father were born, “now mirrored back to back to be the founding team of DMC,” shared Schoener.
Lastly, he said “In essence, the joy (derived from DMC) lies not just in the final product but in the journey that leads us there, an intricate tapestry woven with the threads of creativity, innovation, and an unwavering dedication to the art of automotive customization.”