After rescuing De Tomaso from the liquidators, Gian Mario Rossignolo now has financial problems of his own, but the Indians are waiting with €100 million to bail out De Tomaso.
De Tomaso hasn’t had the most solvent history in the motoring world, and had been dormant until ex-Fiat man Gian Mario Rossignolo rescued the name – and some of the assets – from the liquidators. And he had big plans.
The first of those plans was the underwhelming De Tomaso Deauville, a car which borrowed its name from a previous XJ-like saloon car from De Tomaso, but looked like the bastard child of a Porsche Cayenne and a 5-Series GT. Which only a mother could love.
Next up was supposed to be a 21st century version of the car that made De Tomaso a semi-iconic brand – the De Tomaso Pantera. Rumour had it that the new Pantera – said to weigh 1200kg and sporting a 600bhp GM lump – would arrive at Frankfurt last month. But it was conspicuous by its absence.
It now seems that Signor Rossignolo is reviving De Tomaso history in ways he probably didn’t plan. According to the WSJ, De Tomaso has run out of readies to pursue its plan of carving a new niche for the De Tomaso brand and has been quietly seeking a sympathetic investor to move on to actual production cars. Which certainly explains everything going quiet on the Pantera front.
It seems De Tomaso has managed to secure a €100 million investment from an institutional investor in India, with plans to reveal the identity – and the investment details – later this month. Which is at least a temporary relief for Signor Rossignolo if the reports are correct.
But if De Tomaso fails to convince with the new Pantera – in the way they did with the Deauville – it could be Goodnight Vienna after all, despite the Indians riding to the rescue with some much needed cash.