Carrozzeria Bertone will find out if it has won a contract to build a third vehicle at its plant in Grugliasco, Turin, by the end of the month.
Managing Director Bruno Cena refused to give details of the possible contract, but he did confirm, 'It is from a European carmaker.'
Other sources in Turin say the carmaker could be Mercedes-Benz. The project under discussion might be a coupe-cabriolet derivative of the next-generation E-class.
Last year, Bertone built 26,000 Opel Astra coupes and 19,500 BMW C1 motorcycles. The plan for 2001 is to make 27,000 Astra coupes, plus an unspecified number of C1s. Bertone will also build 10,000 Astra cabriolets, a model derived from the coupe version. The Astra cabriolet made its debut at Geneva.
On the business side, Bertone showed a 'small profit despite a high investment load last year,' Cena said. 'In 2001 the profit will be more substantial.' Bertone will release final figures for 2000 this month.