On Thursday, Fiat is expected to put its John Hancock on a preliminary agreement to close its purchase of Carrozzeria Bertone, the coachbuilding arm of the Bertone company. In August Fiat won the right to acquire the builder, and it will throw €150 million at its operations over the next three years to return it to glory... or at the least allow it to begin producing new models.

Specific vehicles haven't been mentioned, but when (if) the Bertone factory reopens in late 2011, it's expected the production center will make the car that replaces the Euro-spec 300C. As a side note, that could be interesting because the European 300C is currently built by Magna, in Austria, and if Fiat brings production in-house that would mean more contract work taken from Opel's new papa. Jeep knockdown kits could also be shipped over and built for European consumption.

The purchase gives Fiat no stake in Stile Bertone, the now independent design firm that brought out the Mantide, so don't get your hopes up about wildly styled Chrysler supercars being built in northern Italy. Yet.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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