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Gruppo Bertone is an Italian automobile company, which has specialized in car styling, coachbuilding and manufacturing. Bertone styling is distinctive, with most cars having a strong "family resemblance" even if badged by different manufacturers. Bertone has styled cars for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, Ferrari, Fiat, Iso Rivolta, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz and Volvo Cars among others. In addition the Bertone studio were responsible for two of the later designs of the famous Italian motorscooter ''Lambretta,'' The innovative and influential-if unsuccessful "Luna" range and the DL/GP -a makeover of the established LI Ser III design. In the late 1980s, Bertone also styled the K20 motorcycle helmet for Swiss bicycle and motorcycle helmet manufacturer "Kiwi".
The company is based in Grugliasco. It was founded as Carrozzeria Bertone in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone, with designer Nuccio Bertone taking over after World War II. The company was divided into two units — the Carrozzeria building as many as 40,000 cars per year at its height, and the styling studio, Stile Bertone. The company is currently headed by Lilli Bertone, widow of Nuccio.
Financial protection, 2007
Bertone applied for Concordato Preventivo in November 2007, Italy’s equivalent of United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to several years of financial losses.
The company has reportedly posted a total loss of €37.3m (US$55.4m) over the past three years, on sales of €325m. The Concordato Preventivo allows Bertone bosses to reorganize their operations while enjoying protection from creditors. Bertone's 1,250 employees were protected and paid by an Italian government funded scheme, which expired at the end of 2007. Carrozzeria Bertone’s workers' state-funded layoff program was extended from the end of 2007 to February 2008.
Announced sale, 2008
On January 1, 2008, Lili Bertone announced that she signed the option to sell the company to Domenico Reviglio, the founder and President of Gruppo Prototipo.
The Gruppo Prototipo is best known as the owner of the Nardò test track.
Domenico founded automotive testing and certification specialist Prototipo in the early 1990s and now runs a turnaround company called Keiper.
The Reviglio-Bertone announcement follows on the heels of a proposal in late December 2007, where Gianmario Rossignolo announced he was planning to take over the Turin-based contract manufacturer.
Rossignolo—a former CEO of Lancia, Telecom Italia and appliance maker Zanussi—at that time presented his restructuring plan for Bertone to the Italian Production Activity minister, local authorities and worker unions, winning a preliminary go-ahead.
Fiat bid, 2009
In July 14 2009 Fiat announced their interest to the contract manufacturing division of Bertone and confirmed it will make a non-binding offer to buy struggling Italian contract manufacturer Carrozzeria Bertone S.p.A.
The winner bid will be announced before the end of the month (July 2009).
Cars and scooters styled by Bertone
*1952 Fiat Abarth 1500 Coupé
*1953 Arnolt-MG Convertible and Coupe
*1953 Alfa Romeo BAT-5
*1953 Fiat 1100 TV
*1953 Fiat 8V Spider
*1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 Sport Spider
*1954 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva
*1954 Alfa Romeo BAT-7
*1954 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
*1954 Arnolt Aston Martin DB2/4 Spider
*1955 Alfa Romeo BAT-9