Recent reports suggest that BMW is among the finalists bidding to buy the defunct De Tomaso brand, but with no comment from the company and seemingly little to gain, it’s difficult to see any reason for the move.
Winding back to 2011, the company was expected to be building a sports crossover called the SLC but that plan failed to materialize much the same as Chinese investment firm Hotyork’s recent plan to revive the company did.
Hardly a hook-worthy worm for BMW to bite, the crossover wouldn’t seem useful and worse still the company is likely to be in sorry shape after workers were left unpaid for months by its former owner.
Why the German automaker would step anywhere near that rat’s nest is anybody’s guess, but owning a lower cost brand in Italy could prove useful for boosting regional sales. A sub bargain bin price would be necessary for that to stand true, but given BMW’s recently revealed platform sharing between its own brand and MINI, there could be something there.
With a Mercedes A-Class competitor on the way and platform sharing already in progress, BMW could badge engineer a small car tailored more toward Italian tastes that would sell downmarket from its current product range.
Then again, De Tomaso was always a luxury brand. Trying to sell it as a low-cost product could easily be taken as BMW thumbing its nose toward a piece of Italian history; not the world’s smartest sales strategy.
[Source: Automotive News]