Bertone has been in financial doldrums ever since a deal between it and Fiat to build several new Lancia models went sour back in April. The Italian coachbuilder is yet to secure any major projects since then and is relying on government handouts to pay its staff but this is expected to dry up anytime now.

The coachbuilder is now seeking bankruptcy protection, which would allow it to continue its operations while insolvent. If granted, all creditors would have stop trying to collect payments during the restructuring, reports Automotive News.

Bertone’s production lines are currently sitting idle. The latest contract the coachbuilder had was a 2,000-unit run of a limited-edition version of the Mini back in mid-2006.

The plant has the capacity to build up to 70,000 units a year and to break even Bertone would need to build at least 30,000 units annually.