Bertone is an Italian automobile company, which deals with car styling and coach manufacturing. It has styled cars for Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Opel, Lamborghini, Lancia, FIAT, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Citroen, Abarth and some other brands. It has also provided two of the later designs of the Lambretta motorscooters. more
The company was founded in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone in Grugliasco, Italy. First, it dealt with production of horse-drawn vehicles. After the First World War, Bertone started to deal with car styling. In 1920s, the company cooperated with many car manufacturers and its main clients were FIAT and Lancia. After the Second World War, designer Nuccio Bertone began to rule the company and divided it into two units: “Carrozzeria” for manufacturing and “Stile Bertone” for styling. In 1950s, Bertone started to cooperate with foreign companies. Its first clients were MG and Bristol Cars Limited.
In 1965, after the release of the Fiat 850 Spider, Bertone’s commercial success allowed it to increase the production capacity. In 1977, the company became a car manufacturer in its own right. The Fiat Ritmo Cabrio and the Fiat X1/9 were the first cars, produced under its brand.
In 1990s, Bertone focused on technological innovations. In 1992, Blitz barchetta, a showcar with an electric engine, was presented at the Turin Motor Show. In 1994, the brand introduced the Zero Emission Record, an interpretation of the Abarth 750 Record, which set the world speed record for electric cars. The same year, Bertone was the first Italian company to receive ISO 9001 quality certification.
After the death of Nuccio Bertone in 1997, the company started to have financial difficulties. It had to sell one of the plants and reduce the number of workers. In 2014, the company was declared bankrupt. However, in 2013, the license rights for the brand were granted to Bertone design, a company based in Milan, which tries to resurrect the brand name.