The past year has been unkind to coachbuilding and contract manufacturing firms, especially with the wealthy reining in their more extravagant purchases and automakers bringing their production back in-house. Carrozzeria Bertone, the manufacturing arm of the Bertone Group, is feeling the pinch of bankruptcy in Italy, and soon it may be called Bertone no more.

Fiat has just been given approval by the Italian government for an acquisition of Carrozzeria Bertone. Under the plan, Fiat will invest €150 million ($215.9 million) over three years in the struggling contract manufacturer.

Autocar recently reported that Fiat plans to use Bertone’s Turin factory and its workforce to produce niche products while dumping the Bertone brand name. Fiat has since revealed that these products would be sold in both Europe and North America.

Fiat's on a shopping spree of late, buying a hefty stake in Chrysler and making an offer on Opel as well. Now trying to add Bertone to its collection, it's clear the Italian auto giant is trying to make the most of the current industry and economic downturn.

Bertone's most recent project of note is the Mantide, designed by Jason Castriota under the Stile Bertone banner, a separate division under the Bertone Group.