Bankruptcy has finally landed at Bertone's doorstep.
A few months ago, word began to leak out that legendary Italian design house Bertone was on the brink of closure. The reason? Bankruptcy. The company that once employed a young Marcello Gandini (the man who designed the Lamborghini Countach, amongst many other great cars) was anxiously looking for a buyer to salvage what was left. Apparently that never happened. Wards Auto is reporting, sadly, that as of last week, Bertone is officially bankrupt.
Sources with inside knowledge of the issue are claiming that Bertone accumulated some 31 million Euros ($42 million) in debt in less than five years. This happened despite an increase in work and sales, which generated 14.5 million Euros ($19.7 million) back in 2010. So what happens next? Good question. Bertone has quite a car collection that Italy classifies as an "historic national heritage." Therefore, it must be sold as a complete collection. No word yet on its price tag. The firm also owns a few buildings and other smaller assets. So how did Bertone go completely bust? That's another good question.
It's somewhat strange because Bertone did have business interests with other companies in Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, China, and the US. Business wasn't completely dead (just slow), and inside sources within Bertone aren't talking. However, off the record, former employees have hinted at bad business practices and other horror stories. Regardless, it's time to say goodbye to Bertone.