BMW is one of several potential buyers of the now defunct Italian sports car marque De Tomaso according to a member of the Unione Italiana Lavoratori Metalmeccanici (Italian Trade Union).
The union’s Giuseppe Anfuso told reporters at the conclusion of a recent meeting in Rome: “We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners [who would buy the structural assets] and with BMW continue.”
BMW has not officially confirmed its interest in the De Tomaso marque, and in a statement earlier this year the Munich-based luxury car maker said it had no such interest in the De Tomaso brand.
There have been several attempts at re-establishing the once exotic sports car marque, but all have failed including the most recent effort, which ended with the company filing for bankruptcy after selling the rights to build the Deauville sedan (below) to a Chinese manufacturer to raise funds.
Should BMW go ahead with the purchase of De Tomaso, it could be seen as a similar scenario to Audi’s purchase of Lamborghini, which gave the Italian supercar manufacturer a new lease on life.
De Tomaso Automobili was founded in Modena in 1959 by Alejandro de Tomaso of Argentina.
It had some early luck when in 1969 Ford bought a large chunk of the company based on some design sketches of the De Tomaso Pantera – the company’s most celebrated model.
Ford supplied the 351-C engines for the Pantera and continued to import them into the US for four years until quality issues that plagued the car caused Ford to stop selling it.
De Tomaso continued to build various editions of the Pantera (and other models) including the superbly styled Pantera GT-5 and GT5-S models – proper Italian muscle cars of the day for the European market.
Interestingly, in 1993 De Tomaso released the BMW-powered Guara. It was sold in Europe with a BMW V8, albeit in very limited numbers. It also made it to the US, but only as a race car
Alejandro de Tomaso passed away in 1993 and effectively, so did his company, despite the best intentions of those that still believed in the brand.
De Tomaso Automobili was eventually wound up in 2006.