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.
We’ll update the story once more details are known.