Bertone Logo Gruppo Bertone, commonly known simply as Bertone, was an Italian automobile company, which specialized in car styling, coachbuilding and manufacturing. Bertone styling is distinctive, with most cars having a strong "family resemblance" even if they are badged by different manufacturers. Bertone has styled cars for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Citroën, Ferrari, Fiat, Iso, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz, Opel and Volvo, among others. In addition, the Bertone studio was responsible for two of the later designs of the Lambretta motorscooter. In the late 1980s, Bertone styled the K20 motorcycle helmet for Swiss bicycle and motorcycle helmet manufacturer Kiwi.
The company was based in Grugliasco in northern Italy. Gruppo Bertone was founded as Carrozzeria Bertone in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone. Designer Nuccio Bertone took charge of the company after World War II and the company was divided into two units: Carrozzeria for manufacturing and Stile Bertone for styling. Until its bankruptcy in 2014, the company was headed by the widow of Nuccio Bertone, Lilli Bertone.
Giovanni Bertone started a carriage manufacturing business in Turin, at the age of 28. Along with three workers, he built horse-drawn vehicles.
In the first decades of the 20th century, cars were not common. The road traffic was dominated by horse-drawn carriages and the coaches built by the young Bertone were particularly regarded for their accuracy, quality and solidity. In 1914, Giuseppe Bertone, nicknamed "Nuccio", the second son of Giovanni Bertone, was born. This nickname later became known as the signature to Nuccio, one of the greatest Italian style masters in the world. The outbreak of the first world war triggered a major crisis of the young Italian industrial sector and heavily affected Giovanni Bertone, who was forced to close his company.
Bertone after Bertone
On 26 February 1997, on the evening of the Geneva Motor Show, Nuccio Bertone died, "one of the greatest coachbuilders of the century, and international Maestro of Italian style" in the words of Fulvio Cinti, motoring journalist and car historian. His widow Lilli Bertone took over management of the company.
While in the past car manufacturers had paid more attention to the engineering of a car than to its design, by the 1990s they had realized the importance of design to their brand's success and were increasingly bringing more of the creative work in house.This even applied to supercar manufacturers, who in the past had been a major client of the Italian design consultancies (carrozzeria). While Chinese and Indian manufacturers provided some work, this too decreased as once they gained confidence they too established their own in-house design studios. Despite these difficulties Bertone obtained some specialist manufacturing projects and continued with design consulting.
However, by 2009, the worsening financial situation caused Bertone to sell its Grugliasco plant, along with its manufacturing activities to FIAT.Bertone underwent a major restructuring and became a fully integrated service company in the automotive, transportation and industrial design sectors. By then, Bertone workforce had reduced to roughly 300, mainly engineers and designers, with a capacity of 300,000 engineering hours per year, which allowed it to manage up to four prototype projects per year, from first style drafts to the effective manufacturing of the prototype. The financial turmoil however continued, leading it to sell off some of its treasured collection of concept cars in 2011.
Source : wikipedia