April 25, 2014

De Tomaso bites the dust – again

De Tomaso has filed for bankruptcy again after failing to complete any of the deals Gian Mario Rossignolo had claimed would save the brand.

De Tomaso Deauville

De Tomaso has never had a an easy time of things despite building a few cars – well, the De Tomaso Pantera, at least – which had real appeal.

After its last bankruptcy, former Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo rode in as a white knight to put De Tomaso back on top – or so we thought.

But instead of delivering a 21st century version of the Pantera with Italian styling and American muscle he delivered the awful crossover/SUV that was the De Tomaso Deauville.

The promise for the future of De Tomaso pretty much went when the woeful Deauville was revealed, and the downward slide of De Tomaso started once more.

After running out of money and, apparently, getting some funding from India, Rossignolo claimed to have sold the rights to the Deauville to the Chinese, but we heard nothing more concrete beyond that.

Subsequently, Rossignolo claimed to have sold De Tomaso to a group of investors but said the Rossignolo family would still be very much involved. But that appears to have come to nought too.

So now De Tomaso is back in the hands of the receivers what is the future, if any, for what is probably the last remaining ‘Supercar’ brand with any history not yet owned by a big car maker?

It seems the only possible future would be with BMW, long known to be seeking a supercar brand of their own. But as BMW declined to take the assets of De Tomaso when they were up for grabs last time it seems unlikely they will be spurred in to action now.

Which means De Tomaso will either join the many other illustrious car marques consigned to the dustbin of history, or be bought up by a garden shed supercar maker to try and shine a bit of Italian gloss on their offerings.

Whichever it is, it seems the glory days of De Tomaso are finally, and probably irrevocably, gone.

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