Once proud Italian sports car manufacturer De Tomaso
has had a rough year. In February, it looked like the firm had attracted a Chinese buyer
, and that construction of the De Tomaso SLS would soon begin at a former Pininfarina plant outside of Turin.
Then came word that the deal with Car Luxury Investment, backed by Chinese investment group Hotyork, had fallen through. In July, De Tomaso was forced to file bankruptcy
, which was quickly followed by the arrest of De Tomaso chairman
Gian Mario Rossignolo on charges of improper use of funding.
Since then, the courts have been trying to find a buyer for De Tomaso, and while several companies have expressed interest, no deal has been finalized. Prior to De Tomaso’s bankruptcy, BMW was said to be in dialogue with the ailing Italian automaker, a rumor the German company quickly shot down.
Now comes word from Automotive News Europe
(subscription required) that BMW is in talks to buy the De Tomaso brand, while Italian companies are in dialogue to buy its structural assets. As expected, BMW has issued no commentary on the report.
BMW is among several finalists reportedly vying for the brand, and if all goes as planned a sale process could begin next month. We're not exactly sure why BMW is bidding for the boutique brand, but perhaps it finds De Tomaso’s post-bankruptcy price to be too good to pass up.