Peter Anderson | Sep 15, 2012

German automotive powerhouse BMW is said to be in the running to buy the bankrupt de Tomaso.

A meeting was held in Rome on Thursday to discuss de Tomaso's situation, with officials from the Industry Ministry, unions, and local governments of the Italian region of Piedmont in attendance.

"We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners (who would buy the structural assets) and with BMW continue," Giuseppe Anfuso, the Turin Secretary of the UILM trade union told Reuters.

The Italian maker of curious supercars went under for the umpteenth time earlier this year, after several decades of getting passed around between different companies, buying Maserati from Citroen, getting bought by Fiat and other failed rescue attempts.

The latest bankruptcy came after a failed turnaround plan that had gotten as far as buying an old Pininfarina factory and taking on a thousand workers as part of the deal.

It has been suggested BMW is being driven by Audi's Lamborghini ownership, but this seems unlikely.

BMW's model roster is already at bursting point, and adding a slightly dog-eared (albeit much-loved) Italian brand doesn't make a great deal of sense. Still, if BMW does buy de Tomaso, it will be interesting to see what happens.

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