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.