Mrs. Lilli Bertone is waiting for the slow coming developments of all the procedures that will eventually put the word “end” onto the sad Bertone saga, which see herself and her two daughters arguing on the destiny of the family heritage. In the meantime she is not on idle. She has not time to wate and has recently made a pro-active move by establishing a new company, in association with two well established design and engineering companies: TE.DI and MED. To make clear at the outset about who is in control Lilli Bertone (who has the controlling stake majority) has called the new company BERTONE CENTO.
The name says it all: Cento is Italian for One Hundred and it is precisely the 100th anniversary of BERTONE that she wants to celebrate and she is focusing on, as point of arrival as well as for the point-in-time for a new departure. Mrs. Bertone is not a teen-ager but she seems to have the enthusiasm, the energy and the determination of a tiger at its best. She has also secured to her new company the talent and experience of Michael “Mike” Robinson, the renowned American-born designer that has made a brilliant career at Fiat and Lancia before going free-lance.
The tall Californian designer has lived in Turin for the past 30 years and has previously held the role of “Director of the Centro Stile Lancia” in the 90s, where he created the concept cars “Dialogos” and “Nea” as well as the Lancia Lybra, Phedra, Thesis, and the latest Ypsilon”. Later, as Director of the Centro Stile Fiat (until 2005) he directed the design development of the Fiat Ducato light commercial vehicle, and the interior of the Fiat Grande Punto.
Mike Robinson will act as “Brand & Design Director”.
Mrs. Bertone has also selected Architect Franco Carretto as head of the Train Design Division of Bertone Cento. The world-renowned train designer was previously the director of the Train Design at Giugiaro Design where he designed trend-setting mass transport vehicles for Chinese, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish railways companies, in addition to the Light Underground Train for the Copenhagen Railways.
In announcing her new company, Mrs. Bertone stated: “We are confident that this combined team of creative and technical excellence, including Robinson’s futuristic vision and his great ability to scout talent and motivate teams, Carretto’s long history of success designing train exteriors and interiors, both supported by an experienced team of engineers and industrialists, in perfect harmony with my relentless determination, will empower BERTONE CENTO to return as a one of the world’s driving forces in transportation design and engineering”.
Bertone Cento is an independent company and has no corporate relationship with Stile Bertone, Carrozzeria Bertone, Bertone Glass or the holding Bertone S.p.A. According to a statement issued by the new company, BERTONE CENTO is committed “to bring Bertone design and engineering back into the heart of the worlds’ most important automobile manufacturers, and, on the threshold of a hundred year history reawaken the pride of Italian style and ingenuity”.