Bertone Mantide - Click above for a high-res image gallery
You could say that Fiat's on a bit of a spending spree lately. While everyone else is struggling to trim expenditures and sell off divisions, Fiat's been buying them up. So after moving in at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and making offers for GM's European and Latin American operations – including Opel and Vauxhall – it should come as no surprise that the Italian automaker is at it again, this time placing a non-binding offer to acquire Carrozzeria Bertone.
The offer is one of five currently being entertained by Italy's oldest coachbuilder and the courts administering its bankruptcy. Among other bidders reported are Domenico Reviglio (the Gruppo Prototipo chief who was slated to buy the company last year), former Lancia CEO Gianmario Rossignolo, Chinese automaker FAW and an additional unspecified Spanish concern. It is also not the first time Fiat considered rescuing Bertone after a previous attempt failed over two years ago.
Although the reports remain somewhat ambiguous, it appears that the unit in question is only the contract manufacturing division Carrozzeria Bertone SpA, a separate unit from the Stile Bertone design house under the Gruppo Bertone umbrella.
[Source: Automotive News Europe – Sub. Req.]