Only a few months ago legendary Italian design house Bertone was on the verge of bankruptcy and was reported to be an acquisition target for a number of firms in India and China. Then, in April, the design house gained a new management team headed by former Aprilia CEO Teresio Gaudio. Under the new structure, designed to protect the 1,300-strong workforce, Nuccio Bertone’s widow Lilly was able to retain her 49.5% stake while the rest of the company went into the control of the Italian courts.

Bertone is now on the turnaround and is starting to see new contracts pile up. The company is considering opening a new office in Detroit, and could even start production of its striking BAT 11 Concept displayed at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, Bertone's business development director Roland Martin said that the BAT 11 was completed in secrecy and ended up being a hit at the Geneva event. He also stated that the company was considering building 25-50 examples if it received enough orders for the car.

Of more significance is plans to open new offices in China and the U.S. Bertone has about 20 design projects going, including work for carmakers in Europe and China and designing interiors of luxury yachts, business jets and helicopters. While Bertone is closely involved with GM and Ford in Europe, the design house rarely does work in the U.S. and this would be one of the key reasons for the Detroit office.