The famous Italian performance brand De Tomaso has its second new owner in as many months after being snapped up by Hong Kong-based Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture for just over EUR1m ($1.1m).

Swiss-based L3 Holdings won the first round of auction bidding in March, but reportedly failed to honour its financial commitments. Even now, industry observers in Italy  are sceptical about whether the deal will be completed.

Milan-based lawyer Giampaolo Salsi, representing Idea Teamventure, told Italian media earlier this week that the company plans to manufacture cars under the De Tomaso brand in China.

De Tomaso is not the force it once was, founded in 1959 by Argentine racing driver Alejando De Tomaso. Its cars included the Pantera and Mangusta coupes. After his death in 1993, his heirs liquidated the company.

The Pantera’s main market in the 1970s was the US where, powered by a Ford-built engine, it cost about half the price of a Ferrari but delivered almost as much Italian panache.

There have been other revival attempts, notably in 2009 when Gian Mario Rossignolo acquired the business with plans to relaunch the Deauville name as a crossover, this ended in bankruptcy with control passing to Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS), which did not did work out either.

Despite the latest move by Ideal TeamVenture, the future remains uncertain for some 800 workers at De Tomaso in Modena, who have been on temporary layoff for years. Regional and local authorities plan to hold meetings next week with labour union leaders to try to work out a solution.