The trials and tribulations of legendary Italian sports car brand De Tomaso is beginning to resemble a story played out in one of Italy’s famed operas, with news emerging today that a planned sale of the brand announced just one month ago has fallen through and the brand now lying in the hands of a consortium representing several Chinese firms. This comes after previous attempts to revive De Tomaso, which has been dormant since 2004, failed in 2012 and then again in 2014.
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According to Italy’s La Stampa, the deal last month to sell De Tomaso to L3 Holdings fell through after the Swiss investment group failed to honor some financial commitments. Thus, a new auction was held and this time the Chinese consortium, Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture, managed to edge out other bidders with its final bid of 1.05 million euros (approximately $1.17 million).
A lawyer representing Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture, which is said to be based in Hong Kong but with legal headquarters in the Virgin Islands (doesn’t sound sketchy at all… /sarc), said the consortium is hoping to build De Tomaso-badged cars in China. Unfortunately, it’s not clear what will happen to De Tomaso’s roughly 900 former staff, many of whom have failed to find new work.
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We’ll update the story once more details are known.