BAIC After Pininfarina

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
baic after pininfarina

When we reported last month that a strange assortment of Indian and Chinese truck builders is after the Italian design house and coach builder Pininfarina, we asked what you probably thought: “What do all these truck makers want to do with a company that designed Ferraris?” Now there’s a Chinese company that can put a hot design house to better use: Beijing’s BAIC.

Gasgoo cites an unnamed executive at BAIC who said: “I just come back from Italy last week and have communicated with the technical staff at Pininfarina about the design proposal of the Saab models. Pininfarina is the most successful overseas car design company in China. BAIC has been collaborating with it on development of models based on the Saab technology and will display an all-new concept car with the Saab DNA at next year’s Shanghai auto show, while Pininfarina will be responsible for the contour design of the car.”

So far, so good. Those outdated Saab designs BAIC had bought at firesale prices could use some refresher. But then, there was another quote:

“BAIC has submitted the bid for the Italian firm for several months. The successful acquisition of Pininfarina will be quite favorable for BAIC’s development of future models. But BAIC does not have to win the bid, after all, the two sides are still under the cooperation.”

Other parties said to be bidding for Pininfarina are Mahindra and Bajaj Auto of India, Brilliance and Anhui Jiangling of China, and Magna of Austria.

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.

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7 of 10 comments
  • Dimwit Dimwit on Dec 28, 2010

    Magna would be interesting. Have Artist, Will Travel.

  • Jaybird124 Jaybird124 on Dec 28, 2010

    What car is that in the picture?

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Dec 28, 2010

    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.

    Glad you noted Jaguar. Sergio Pininfarina did the restyling on the Series III Jaguar XJ, arguably the best looking sedan ever made.

    Pininfarina worked with Chrysler too, at least once. In 1949 Chrysler execs had both Pinin Farina and the Ghia firm submit concept vehicles based on a design brief. Farina followed the brief and produced what I think is a handsome design that reminds me of lead-sled Mercs. The Ghia designers decided to built whatever they wanted and came up with a more conventional Italian sedan with some Cisitalia flavor and some, to me, awkward lines. But there were some very nice detail touches on the Ghia and impressive build quality at a very low price.

    That led to the very productive collaboration between Virgil Exner's design team and Ghia's coachbuilders that produced some pretty dramatic show cars - cars that frankly rivaled the more famous GM Motorama cars.

  • Herb Herb on Dec 28, 2010

    Pininfarina has a broader stance. They are not restricted to high-end cars, they are not even restricted to cars (c.f. Perhaps it is this approach that makes Pininfarina interesting for those buyers in question?