In the past, car manufacturers had paid more attention to the engineering of a car than to its design. By the 1990s they had realized the importance of design to their brand's success and were increasingly bringing more of the creative work in-house. This even applied to supercar manufacturers, who in the past had been a major client of the Italian design consultancies (carrozzeria). While Chinese and Indian manufacturers provided some work, this too decreased as once they gained confidence and they established their own in-house design studios. Despite these difficulties, Bertone obtained some specialist manufacturing projects and continued with design consulting.

However, by 2009, the worsening financial situation caused Bertone to sell its Grugliasco plant, along with its manufacturing activities to FIAT. Bertone underwent a major restructuring process and became a fully integrated service company in the automotive, transportation, and industrial design sectors. By then, the Bertone workforce had dropped to roughly 300 people, mainly engineers and designers, with a capacity of 300,000 engineering hours per year. This allowed it to manage up to four prototype projects per year, from first style drafts to effectively manufacturing prototypes.