Just a few weeks after Mahindra & Mahindra expressed their interest in purchasing the legendary coachbuilder and design house Bertone, China's FAW is throwing its hat in the ring. Both companies see the purchase as their ticket into European markets.

A failed deal with Fiat for production of several Lancia models fell through in April 2007 led Bertone to seek bankruptcy protection in December. Now under administration, the firm is being shopped to new owners who it is hoped can turn the company around. The latest report of interest comes from China's FAW, one of the country's largest car makers.

FAW produces cars under joint ventures with the VW Group and Toyota, and under license for Daihatsu and Mazda, reports Automotive News Europe. At present, the company does not sell vehicles in western or central Europe, although it does do limited business in Russia.

Mahindra & Mahindra, on the other hand, is an Indian conglomerate that also bid for Jaguar and Land Rover alongside the eventual winner, Tata. Other companies believed to be interested in buying out Bertone include the rival Italian design firm Giugiaro and the Japanese-owned engineering firm PCL Group that operates out of Germany. As interest picks up, the future of the once-famed and now desperate Bertone looks brighter.