The French Injection: Ex-Peugeot-Citron Designer Tapped as Pininfarina Design Chief
Pininfarina SpA will be see Carlo Bonzanigo succeeding Fabio Filippini as the Italian styling firm’s reigning design director on January 9th.
Filippini’s decision to leave Pininfarina for “personal reasons” comes during a difficult time for the shop. While his responsibility for heading new projects is essentially over, he has promised to remain on board as a personal advisor to company CEO Silvio Angori, and will continue to provide oversight for old projects leading up to a concept car unveiling at March’s Geneva Auto Show.
Bonzanigo, 50, is rejoining the industrial and automotive design firm after having started his own career there in 1995. Pininfarina says the Italian/Swiss Bonzanigo, primarily known for his decade-long stint at PSA/Peugeot-Citroën, is the right person to guide “the rare and valuable skills” of the design team waiting for him in Turin.
The company, owned by India’s Mahindra Group, has fallen on hard financial times in recent years. Pininfarina has a long-term strategy aimed at maintaining its global reputation for design, but in order to do it, it must expand its offerings as a styling consultant even as demand for the service wanes.
Working with Citroën’s styling savior Jean-Pierre Ploué, Bonzanigo helped craft the spin-off DS Automobiles’ upscale design language. He was responsible for the look of a number of models during his time as Citroen’s head of design, including several high-profile concepts — the 2008 DS Hypnos, 2011 Citroen Tubik van, and 2012 DS Numero 9 (pictured above).
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