The French Injection: Ex-Peugeot-Citron Designer Tapped as Pininfarina Design Chief

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
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).

[Image: Citroën]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
4 of 10 comments
  • VW4motion VW4motion on Jan 04, 2017

    Front end of that Citroën looks like the new Civic front end.

  • Fred Fred on Jan 04, 2017

    I've liked the looks (pictures only) of the newer Citroens. Don't know if it matters much to us in the USA.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Jan 05, 2017

    Peugeot-Citroen were hit and miss for a while there. Peugeot's x07 generation, and the first 308, were increasingly looking like Blobfishes with weird bulges and headlights that climb the bonnet nearly to the windscreen. They've tidied things up with the current generation (they're remaining at x08 for European cars, so as not to confuse the 'new' 308 with the old 309). Peugeot used to look it's best when it tied up with Paninfarina - the tidy 205, the 504 coupe, the 406 coupe, the 306 etc. Citroen went all angles with the distinctive C6, the mk1 C4 hatchback at least looked distinctive, the replacement not so much. The mk2 C5 tried to look like an Audi A4 - something they seemed strangely proud of in their "Unmistakeably German" marketing campaign! I don't like their current trend of Nissan Juke-style multiple stacked headlights. Again, Citroen was it's best when it used Bertone, the BX was a poor man's 5 door Lamborghini, the Xantia was a handsome, if bland by previous Citroen standards, midsize sedan-hatch.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jan 05, 2017

    The Citroen pictured has a front end oddly similar to a new Land Cruiser.