BMW reportedly interested in buying De Tomaso image

The Italian industry ministry has confirmed it holds talks with potential buyers of the De Tomaso sportscar brand, including BMW.

The announcement was made by a trade union in a statement, which added that the ministry aims to open a sale process by mid-October.

According to the UILM trade union, representatives from the ministry, the unions and the local governments of the Piedmont region and the city of Grugliasco met on Thursday in Rome.

“We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners (who would buy the structural assets) and with BMW continue,” said Giuseppe Anfuso, secretary of the UILM trade union in a statement after the meeting.

A plan to revive the De Tomaso brand and make it financially viable fell through earlier this year. In 2009, De Tomaso was bought by Gian Mario Rossignolo, who had acquired a former Pininfarina factory on the outskirts of Turin and planned to produce SUVs and sports cars under the De Tomaso brand.

The failure of the plan left about 1,000 workers unemployed and underlined the difficulties local authorities face in restarting closed car factories. In May, BMW spokesman said the group had no interest in the De Tomaso brand or any of its sites.