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DeTomaso Returns to the U.S. After 25-Year Absence        

6 January 2000

DeTomaso Returns to the U.S. After 25-Year Absence Led by the Qvale Automotive Group and Its 2000 Mangusta        
    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 -- The North American debut of the 2000
DeTomaso Mangusta at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show celebrates the official
return of a renowned Italian marque to the U.S. market after more than 25
    The Mangusta is an all-new, exotically styled, 2+2 front-engined sports
car featuring a unique three-position roof that converts the car from coupe to
targa to roadster.  With a top speed near 160 mph and 0-60 times in the 5.0-
second range, the Mangusta delivers reliable performance from its 4.6-liter,
dohc, Ford V8, plus innovation and exclusivity in a package that evokes the
best of Italian style and design.
    The Qvale Automotive Group was the catalyst for the DeTomaso renaissance,
bringing the 2000 Mangusta to market in less than two years since signing its
licensing agreement with DeTomaso Modena S.p.A. in March 1998.  At that time
the Qvale Automotive Group acquired rights to manufacture, distribute, and
market current and future DeTomaso products.
    "In building the Mangusta for the U.S. market we did not compromise in any
way," says President and CEO Bruce Qvale.  "The Mangusta underwent crash
testing at MIRA in the U.K., and has been integrated with all U.S.-mandated
safety features, including driver- and front-passenger airbags.  Although we
are not a volume manufacturer, we felt it was necessary to offer a vehicle
comparable in every way to those of larger volume automakers.  Therefore, we
chose not to rely on waivers for systems like airbags."
    To accomplish this renaissance, the Qvale Automotive Group purchased a
contemporary 120,000 square-foot factory in Modena, Italy and re-outfitted it
for the initial build of the Mangusta.  The Qvale Modena facility is not only
the manufacturing site, but also serves as European sales and marketing
headquarters and houses the company's design and engineering offices, which
are headed by Managing Director Giordano Casarini, formerly of Maserati.
    While the Mangusta will be sold through traditional dealer networks in
Europe, in the United States the cars will be available through a select
number of factory stores located in key markets.  The Southern California
store is located in Beverly Hills, at 8844 Wilshire Blvd.  Other sites include
San Francisco, Detroit, South Florida, and New York.
    "Today, more and more manufacturers are attempting to become retailers,"
says Qvale.  "We're retailers with over 50 years of experience who also have
prior expertise as manufacturers.  In 1970 we purchased controlling interest
in Jensen Motors, Ltd. in West Bromwich, England.  We were responsible for the
introduction of the Jensen Interceptor III and, more importantly, we produced
a totally new sports car -- the Jensen Healey.  Then we established a dealer
network for it throughout the U.S. and Canada.  In six years we produced and
sold close to 12,000 cars in 14 countries worldwide.
    "We're using that expertise today to produce the finest quality sports car
possible and revise the traditional sales and delivery system," says Qvale,
"taking full advantage of the beneficial technologies available through the
    The Qvale Automotive Group will use Strategic Business Systems and LANSA's
IBM AS/400 system to coordinate vehicle distribution, parts management,
warranty administration and dealer and distributor e-business communications
for the launch of the 2000 DeTomaso Mangusta as well as future products and
    The year 2000 also marks DeTomaso's return to U.S. motorsports
competition.  The Mangusta, in racing trim, will debut in the BFGoodrich Tires
Trans-Am Series, campaigned by Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports.  The Tommy Bahama-
sponsored Mangusta will be the only official factory team competing in the
Trans-Am series.
    "With our returning sponsor Tommy Bahama, we're ready to take on the
challenge of being the factory DeTomaso Mangusta Team," says Qvale.  "We have
an exciting new car, a proven Huffaker/Qvale crew, the outstanding technical
expertise of Huffaker Engineering and a chassis that is the match of any.
We're going to set the standard for the Trans-Am series in the year 2000."
    The DeTomaso Mangusta officially goes on sale in North America on
January 20, 2000, priced at $78,900 (U.S.) totally equipped, including a full
leather interior.  At present the only available option is 18" alloy wheels
and tires.