It doesn?t matter how long you?ve been in business or how famous your name is, there is sometimes no way to avoid disaster and that was certainly the case with Bertone in 2007. In business for almost half a century and arguably one of the best known Italian automotive designers in the history of the car, Bertone was forced to seek the protection from creditors offered by bankruptcy, after a number of loss making years.
Since entering bankruptcy, there have been discussions between Bertone and at least a couple of suitors including Fiat, with a view to taking over the famous design house but little was achieved. However, an eleventh hour rescue appears to have been staged with Lili Bertone announced on January 1, 2008 that her company has signed an option to sell Bertone to Gruppo Prototipo, thus ensuring that the Bertone name lives on.
Gruppo Prototipo is a Turin based business that specialise in the testing of prototype vehicles, mainly for Fiat, they are also well known for being the owners of the Nardo test track in Italy. Being Italian, owners of a test track and heavily involved with the testing of prototypes, it would appear that Gruppo Prototipo and Bertones pending togetherness is a match made in heaven.