Revived Italian supercar-maker falls on hard times, but like Lamborghini and Ducati, the Germans could step in to save it. Only this time it's BMW.
Fans of Italian cars may be familiar with the name De Tomaso. Not unlike today's Pagani, De Tomaso was founded by an Argentinian in Modena, and made a name for itself back in the '60s and '70s making exotic sportscars like the Pantera and Mangusta. Recently former Fiat exec Gianmario Rossignolo attempted to revive the marque, but only got as far as presenting the poorly received Deauville concept before he ran out of funding and had to close up shop. Now it appears BMW may be interested in buying it up.
Just what BMW would do with the operation is intriguing. It could end up integrating the Deauville and Pantera that was said to be in the works into its own product line under the BMW badge. Alternatively, BMW could operate De Tomaso as a separate brand, much as it has with Mini and Rolls-Royce - or as rival Volkswagen has done with Lamborghini. BMW has demonstrated an appreciation in recent years for Italian design, sponsoring the Concorso d'Elegaza Villa d'Este and recently working with Zagato on a pair of Z4-based concepts. Taking over De Tomaso could give the Bavarian automaker a solid foothold in Italy's supercar valley.