Bertone has officially entered bankruptcy proceedings in Italy, according to media reports.
Here, Steve Sutcliffe reflects on the once-great firm...
The firm narrowly escaped bankruptcy in 2007 and again in 2011. It has been alleged that the firm generated more than €20m of revenue last year, driven by a strong client base primarily in China, but many of its suppliers or employees have not been paid for some time.
It is understood a number of court cases are pending, and the firm recently laid off 160 workers. Suppliers are alleged to be pursuing legal avenues to reclaim costs.
Bertone’s ex-chief designer, Michael Robinson, who left the company before Christmas, explains. “I cannot say what will become of the once great design house”.
He said: “My design team was doing amazing things there, rebuilding the iconic brand after the dark years, but alas someone yanked the floor out from under our feet. That hurt.
“Fortunately crisis holds opportunity” he explains. “And my motto is; don’t get mad, get even.
“So I took a bunch of my ex-Bertone designers and engineers and merged them with a big engineering firm in Torino called ED. And on December 30, 2013, ED Design was born. I’m now the proud half-owner of ED Design, working my tail off more than ever… hiring piles of creative minds to cover our present workloads. Which is good for the local economy. Good for business. Good for the future.”