What would you say is the state of the American auto industry? Bloated comes to mind, thanks to our obsession with oversized SUVs and trucks. Electric does too, on account of Tesla. And don’t forget fast. But sophisticated? One iconic Italian brand is positioning itself as a savior in that regard.
De Tomaso, the once-revered sports car maker out of Modena, is promising to “restore the romance, beauty, passion and elegance in the luxury American automotive industry.” That’s according to a press release from the company, which was revived by Hong Kong-based Ideal Team Ventures in 2014. How are they going to do that from across the Atlantic? They’re not; De Tomaso is uprooting its core operations and moving to the U.S. in 2021, including corporate facilities, design and production.
Founded in 1959, De Tomaso will be remembered by most Americans for the Pantera, a sports car that brought the styling of Le Mans racers to the streets. It’s also in the Pantera where De Tomaso’s American ties are strongest; the car was powered by a Ford V8 engine and the American automaker imported them for sale Stateside in the early 1970s. Now, the Italian outfit is leveraging those relationships to return to our shores.
“Chief Executive Officer Ryan Berris says a current partnership with Ford has early powertrain development being done in Detroit,” Bloomberg reported. “The company is ‘in negotiations’ regarding a 50,000-square-foot building in the area, Berris says. Other locations are also being considered.”
The powertrain development in question is for the P72, a million-dollar supercar announced last year. Only 72 are being made, all of which have been spoken for. But according to Berris, other vehicles are in the works.
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