September 2, 2014

De Tomaso Deauville production off to China

De Tomaso Deauville China

De Tomaso Deauville - off to China

Gian Mario Rossignolo’s De Tomaso has been struggling to get up and running, and now they’ve sold De Tomaso Deauville production to China.

If there’s been one constant in the history of De Tomaso, it’s been a lack of money. And despite former Fiat exec Gian Mario Rossignolo’s takeover of the De Tomaso brand from the liquidators last year, it seems nothing much has changed.

We got the reveal of the De Tomaso Deauville at Geneva in the Spring. A rather odd-looking cross between a Porsche Cayenne and a BMW 5 Series GT, it was set to command premium prices and came with a badge that was last attached to a Jaguar XJ style saloon car from the old De Tomaso. But then everything went quiet.

In October we learnt that De Tomaso was struggling for cash but had managed to a deal with an Indian company for an injection of cash to get the Deauville back on track. But it now looks like that cash wasn’t enough to keep the Deauville in  Italy.

Production of the De Tomaso Deauville has been licensed out to China for a €15 million fee, and it looks as though the buyer is Chinese group NAC, a sister company to SAIC – GM’s partner in China. Which fits rather neatly, as the Deauville appeared at Geneva with a GM power plant.

No word yet on when the Chinese will get round to building the Deauville, and whether or not it’s destined to be a China-only car or will be exported to the West. We also don’t know whether this is the end of the road for Gian Mario Rossignolo’s De Tomaso, or whether the Chinese cash will be used to continue development of the Pantera.

We’ll let you know when we find out.

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  1. A man who worked closely with Alejandro de Tomaso told me in Monterey this past August, in no uncertain terms, that the “new” DeTomaso is a scam. The new owners will milk all they can from the Italian government until the reality of their scheme becomes too apparent to ignore. Ever hear of ‘salting’ a gold mine with a shotgun and gold flakes? That is all that the Deauville in Geneva was. The “new” DT was not present at SpaItalia where the featured marque was DT, skipped the Frankfurt show and failed to debut the new Pantera at the LA show, as had been strongly rumored. From the redesign of the cattle-brand-based logo to the gawd awful styling of the Deauville, nothing worthwhile has yet to come from the new owners of the marque. If anything of substance ever comes from the “new” DT I will be amazed.

    • Your comment regarding the styling of the Deauville is unkind and uncalled for. I like it and I think the Chinese made a brilliant decision in acquiring a very marketable Pininfarina design as well as innovative all-aluminium automotive construction technology. This car will do very well in China and I would love to see it imported to Mexico. Furthermore, I believe the money will be put to good use at de Tomaso. I would still like to see the original logo restored. To cast aspersions regarding the integrity of a respected veteran businessman and blatantly call him a criminal who is defrauding his own country is shameful. I’m suprised this posted. I wish the best for Italy and the rebirth of this iconic marque.

      • Well, yesterday, De Tomaso, as a brand, was sold to unknown and unnamed investors, leaving the hands of Rossignolo (I have only seen it in the italian press, for now; google translate is your friend if you don’t speak italian and/or don’t believe me).

        Of course, this latter told the new “investors” really believe in the business plan and all (what business plan? The Deauville as been sold to China, and there’s no Pantera for all we know; at most a prototype a decade old that has been seen driven out of Pinifarina’s plant for about 100m, which doesn’t mean the slightest thing until proven otherwise). Meanwhile, employees are still unpaid. Sure doesn’t look like a financial montage to harvest public funds, or even possibly for money-laundering eh?

        I love the icon De Tomaso was and still is, and would love a 21st century Pantera to see the day, but come on: all this is a scam, plainly and clearly (and sadly, yes).

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