Indian And Chinese Truck Builders After Ferrari Designer Pininfarina

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
indian and chinese truck builders after ferrari designer pininfarina

Giorgetto Giugiaro sold out to the tedeschi at Volkswagen. Bertone is teaching budding Chinese car designers in brutally cold Changchun. And now, the last vestige of inspired Italian car design is on the auction block: Pininfarina . Actually, they had hired the Italian investment bank Banca Leonardo in August 2009, but they took their time. Now, the bidding is getting serious. And guess who wants to take Pininfarina home.

“Some 10 automakers, three of which are Chinese, are bidding for the Italian car design firm, Pininfarina, “ reports China’s Global Times.

Pininfarina shaped many, mostly high-end cars from Ferrari to Maserati, from Rolls-Royce to Volvo, from Alfa Romeo to Cadillac, from Jaguar to Lancia. If you want a designer of a luxury car, Carozzeria Pininfarina are first to call (+39 011 9438111). Now, the designer of the Ferrari Testa Rossa is looking for the highest bidder. Designing luxury cars doesn’t seem to be a good business anymore. According to Bloomberg, Pininfarina already racked-up $45.8 million in losses in the first nine months, with more red ink to come.

Global Times unearthed that “Beijing Automobile Works Co. Ltd (BAW) and Mahindra Group, from India, top the list of bidders followed by Brilliance Auto, Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd. (JAW), Bajaj from India and Magna International Inc.” BAW of course is part of BAIC.

This is a strange assortment of bidders. What BAW wants to do with Pininfarina remains a mystery. BAW is known a a maker of civilian and milspec off-road vehicles and trucks. Mahindra? Also known for trucks. Jianghuai is a relative nobody by Chinese standards, they made about 320,000 units last year. A lot of them trucks. Bajaj? Even stranger: The Indian company produces gadzillions of two-wheelers, and has problems coming up with a low cost car together with Renault-Nissan. Magna? A parts company that also will gladly build your car on an outsourcing basis. They want to design them too?

Global Times called around. Not very successfully. The PR Dept. of Jianghuai said they hadn’t received a memo yet, hence no comment. As for BAW, Global Times go a bit testy: “Constant calls from the Global Times went unanswered to BAW’s Publicity Department.”

Word from Europe is that Magna would not mind having Pininfarina, but they don’t want to pay a lot. The Italians are supposedly hoping to get more money from India or China. Or are they just playing the yellow (and brown) card to drive up the price? On the other hand, Pininfarina is already one step in China: This week, they opened an office in Shanghai. Which again doesn’t mean much. Anybody who’s somebody in the autobusiness must be present in China.

But then again, what do all these truck makers want to do with a company that designed Ferraris? Rattle presumptive bidders with the thought that Ferrari know-how could end up with Indian or Chinese truckbuilders?

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2 of 13 comments
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.
  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.