2011 De Tomaso SLS (Sport Luxury Sedan) ConceptEnlarge Photo
Legendary Italian performance brand De Tomaso, at one time a Formula One constructor and maker of some tasty sports cars like the Pantera and Mangusta, recently came close to a revival when earlier this decade a group led by a former Fiat exec bought the rights and announced plans for some new cars. Unfortunately, the plans went sour and the fate of the brand, which dates back to 1959, once again fell into the unknown.
Fast forward to today and it’s been revealed that the rights to the De Tomaso brand have been sold at auction to a company by the name of “L3 Holding”. The company, which has roots in Switzerland and Luxembourg, ended up bidding 2.05 million euros (approximately $2.21 million) for the brand and was the only bidder to actually present a business plan. Also bidding were some Italian and Chinese interests.
L3 Holding’s plan is to hire close to 360 staff by the end of the decade to handle production of some new cars, including a mid-engine sports car. L3 Holding’s business plan calls for production of up to 4,500 cars annually, at a new production site located close to Turin, Italy.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, L3 Holding has close links with Genii Capital, whose co-founder and chairman Gerard Lopez currently heads the Lotus Formula One team. Lopez, an early investor of Skype, also happens to be a major car enthusiast so hopefully we’ll hear of more positive developments soon.