What’s left of the once-great De Tomaso has reportedly been sold to a consortium of Chinese carmakers for just over one million euros (AU$1.43 million).
Italy’s ANSA reports ‘Ideal Team Ventures Limited’ won the bid after two tenders were received by the Court Of Turin.
A lawyer representing the new owner said the company plans to build cars in China, which are destined to wear the De Tomaso badge.
Exactly what cars the new owner intends to build is unclear at this stage, as is any plan to offer them for sale outside the Chinese market.
The purchase also means the future of the existing Italian operation is in doubt. A worker who attended the court hearing reportedly declared “we [are] losing an important brand”.
In March, the future of De Tomaso appeared to rest in the hands of a Swiss investment group called L3 Holdings, but the group has since found itself under investigation, prompting a new auction.
De Tomaso is perhaps best remembered for the Pantera coupe (pictured, top of page), which was built for around two decades beginning in the early 1970s.
The model resurfaced as the ‘Panthera’ design study in 2007, but the carmaker hasn’t been in good shape financially for over ten years.
Whether or not Ideal Team Ventures Limited can turn the De Tomaso story around remains to be seen - watch this space.