On June 4, the judge in charge of managing Bertone's bankruptcy process began the liquidation phase of the company. It is still remotely possible for a buyer to appear -probably from the automotive scene-, but for now the time frame for this to happen has expired. From now on, and as if it were a cutting, the assets of the historic body Italian separately.
Sadly, there is not much that can be undone to pay off debt of approximately 31 million euros that the company drags. Let us remember that in 2008 it sold the Griugliasco production plant to Fiat and that, on the other hand, it lacks ownership of the Bertone brand, whose transfer of rights by Bertone Cento -another of the family holding companies- will end this year .
Faced with the dire financial situation of its heart, the Bertone conglomerate has decided to bet on another of its companies, Bertone Design, which provides its services in the fields of architecture, communication, event organization, business strategy and transportation. Based in Milan, she has little to do with the Bertone we all know.
Another stumbling block - or not, depending on how you look at it - for the salvation of the car body company has been imposed by the Italian Government, which has declared the collection of classics and prototypes a historical heritage. Although RM Auctions auctioned some of its pieces three years ago, the rest can only be sold all together and with the approval of the transalpine authorities.
Thus, some land and buildings remain and also the daily activity of the company, which still provides its services to important clients although, nevertheless, they are moving little by little to Milan. In December 2013 Michael Robinson, chief designer, and most of his team left to create a new studio called ED Design, so the body is currently headless.
Bertone already went through a similar situation in 2007/2008, when he could only avert disaster by selling his production plant to Fiat; and in 2011 it fell again, this time having to get rid of iconic prototypes from its golden age, such as the Stratos Zero or the Lamborghini Marzal, both sculpted in the second half of the sixties. For more information on the history of this centennial design office, click here.