It seems Fiat may be interested in adding another corporation to its growing automotive empire: Carrozzeria Bertone.
Both Autocar and Automotive News Europe report that Fiat has confirmed it is one of five entities bidding on Bertone’s manufacturing wing. Other parties interested include a pair of Italian investors, an anonymous Spanish group, and Chinese automaker FAW Group.
Although Carrozzeria Bertone was the cornerstone of Giovanni and Nuccio Bertone’s empire, it is now somewhat independent from the styling wing, referred to as Stile Bertone. The coachbuilding operation, which had been responsible for mass-volume production of convertibles like the Opel Astra Cabrio, has been without a production contract since 2005, leading it into financial distress.
Fiat hasn’t announced what, if anything, it would build at Carrozzeria Bertone’s facility in Turin, Italy. The factory is capable of building 70,000 vehicles annually with two shifts of workers; 100,000 with three.
Fiat and Bertone have a long and storied relationship, which yielded vehicles like the 850 Spider and the X1/9. Bertone was responsible not only for the design of the X1/9, but also manufactured and sold the two-seat roadster for nearly a decade.
We’ll know for certain if Fiat is the victor by this Thursday, when bidding for Carrozzeria Bertone closes.
Source: Automotive News