We thought that we could go through the last two weeks of the year without having to deal with another auto company going though bankruptcy proceedings.
Turns out, we may see one pretty soon.
According to Italy’s La Repubblica, one of Italy’s most famous design houses, Bertone , is close to filing for bankruptcy after asking for court administration on December 11th. With this move, Bertone has 120 days to get its ship in order, specifically to find new investors that could inject some much-needed financing for the company.
Despite the popularity of its more recent models, Bertone has been teetering on shaky ground since the 2008 global economic crisis, and has failed to recover, causing it to drop a whole lot of its businesses in the process, including the sale of its Grugliasco factory in Turin to Fiat . Incidentally, the said plant is now the production home of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte .
But that’s not all that’s been gut-punching Bertone in recent months. It’s struggled to field orders for Bertone Workshop, a division of the company it created to help offset its losses. Heck, it’s even failed to pay its employees for months, causing a lot of them to go on strike.
All that though pales in comparison to what Bertone is reportedly going through right now. it’s very existence is in serious danger, and unless the court-appointed administrator finds new investors for the company, it’s going to be a long winter for one of our favorite Italian design houses.
The good news is that Italian media has reported that a number of companies have expressed interest in buying Bertone, including a Turkish company that offered €2 million, which is about $2.75 million at the current exchange rates, for the company.
Here’s to hoping Bertone gets to right its ship sooner than later, and in one form or another. It’s a shame that it’s going through something like this, but like it or not, such is the reality of the world these days.
Click past the jump to read a little about one of Bertone’s latest creations, the Jet 2
It was just this March that Bertone was on happier days, or at least happier than it is now.
The company had just unveiled the Jet 2 at the Geneva Motor Show, which was an updated version of the original Vanquish-based Jet that was unveiled back in 2004. It was a spectacular car that showcased everything positive that Bertone stood for.
The new Jet 2 featured the same shooting brake body style as the Rapide Jet 2+2 yet also came with an updated design, new exterior colors and a more luxurious interior trim. The model also offered increased cabin space and a 2+2 seating configuration, thanks to the added 210 mm (8.26 inches) in length, as well as a 6.0-liter, V-12 engine rated at 450 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.