Yet one more example of how a life’s work may only last a single lifetime.
I’ve been a fan of exotic sports cars since I was a kid. One of the most famous names around was Bertone. The badge appeared on many cars of different brands, and growing up it took me a while to figure out who actually made the car. Most commonly seen on Fiats and Alfa Romeos, it also appeared on or was associated with and Lamborghinis and Ferraris. To my mind their last great design was the Lamborghini Diablo.
In 2014, I was surprised to learn through the pages of road and track magazine that Bertone is no more. Some blame mismanagement or the fact that the company simply lost its way after the death of 82-year-old Nuccio Bertone, however to my eye it appears that the company ultimately failed to evolve.
Bertone was a design studio for automotive art. At least that is what I think of when I see the beautiful designs that Bertone created for various manufacturers. Bertone was also a coach builder, a term that harkens back to the earliest days of the automobile when manufacturers produced engines and rolling chassis for coachbuilders to attach their car bodies to. In modern times Bertone had become a full assembly line and outsourced production facility, working under contract to various automakers.
In recent years technology and an abundance of skills have flooded the market place, enabling manufacturers to bring more of the design and production of their cars in-house. What was once a specialty area is now more of a commodity service in the automotive world.
In the case of Bertone, it appears that the company simply failed to evolve and therefore was forced into extinction. I mourn the passing of another automotive icon.
What are the skills abilities and services that are becoming commodity in your industry?