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Discussion Starter #1
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article5425819.ece

Pininfarina sports car family loses control

The rolling script of the Pininfarina trademark is as much a part of a Ferrari Testarossa as the V-12 engine, but ownership of the name that spells Italian sports car design has been forfeited in a mountain of debt.
The founding family of Pininfarina has lost its battle to keep control of the design firm and boutique car manufacturer. After months of wrangling, a banking syndicate led by Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit have agreed to reschedule debts of almost €600 million (£575 million), but the family must sell its 50.6 per cent stake in the company.
Potential buyers of the stake are thought to include Vincent Bolloré, the French tycoon who a year ago established a joint venture with Pininfarina to build an electric car. Ratan Tata is also believed to be interested, but the head of the Tata industrial conglomerate is already embroiled in the financial rescue of his recent acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover in Britain.
Established in 1930 in Turin, Pininfarina put the streamed lines on classic Italian cars, including Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo models. Many of its designs acquired celebrity status, among them the Nash-Healey roadster, which was driven by Clark Kent in the original 1950s Superman television series. Pininfarina's 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider was famously driven by Dustin Hoffman in the classic film The Graduate.
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More recently, it teamed up with Ford to produce a cabriolet version of the Focus. But it is the business of making cars, not designing them, that became the company's Achilles' heel. While rivals such as Bertone, a fellow Turin design house, abandoned manufacturing, Pininfarina maintained a sizeable coachwork business. Half of its 2,600 payroll build cars, including the Alfa Romeo Spider and the Streetka, a coupé version of the Ford model.
Sales of Spiders plummeted this year and the sudden deceleration of the global motor industry threatened the Turin design firm with cardiac arrest. Pininfarina lost €114 million last year on revenues of €713 million and, under the restructuring agreement with the banks, will unwind its contract manufacturing deals with Ford and Alfa Romeo.
The company's troubles became laced with personal tragedy in August when Andrea Pininfarina, the company's chairman and the grandson of its founder Battista (“Pinin”) Farina, died on the way to work after his Vespa motor scooter collided with a Ford Focus.
His death provoked an outpouring of grief among the Italian motor manufacturing fraternity and prompted a statement of condolence from Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, who described him as “representative of a dynasty that helped bring the story of ‘made in Italy' to the world”.
Known by his nickname “Pinin” - which means “the youngest” in Piedmontese dialect - Battista Farina went to America in 1920 and met Henry Ford, who offered him a job, but decided to return to Italy. There, in 1930, he founded Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, near the heart of the country's burgeoning motor industry, designing cars for Lancia, Isotta Fraschini, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. In 1961, the President of Italy personally authorised his change of name to Pininfarina.

Very sad to see it go out of Family control...but they might of had it coming with the latest designs.....
 

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That is truly a shame:(

Chris
 

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sad news, let's hope someone "friendly" rescues the company

Fiat, perhaps!?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
saying Fiat buys PF.
1. would the designs be left with a bit of the ol' free reign, or look more generic : thinking a bit of both

2. would Fiat allow outside designs or autos only for the Fiat brand : thinking both, IF the designs don't counter Fiat's lines...they can design Motorcycles, boats, Hybrids/electrics but not go to Porsche or Lambo etc. EVER.

3. How to dispense with the debt. Fiat could just wipe it clean, even in today's economy, they are not badly off....but, for what? They drive most of the nail when it comes to having PF perform.....seems it is sadly the last of a generation but perhaps will spur someone else to make it up: Much like the new works/custom jobs from Michiel Vandenbrink.

Perhaps it's just time for a new player, and someone with a bit more risk involved in design...no more run of the mill.


http://www.michielvandenbrink.com/

I, personally, would like to see his redo, like this 599 [posted without permission, CR -> site mentioned], in the new CA, which although PF held the nail, Ferrari handled the hammer.
 

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Looked up that guy's designs, and all I can say is that e is very good.:thumbsup:

Chris
 

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He is a creative designer but I think he tends to impart a German influence on his designs where Pinninfaria always had that flowing Italian charm.
 

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2. but not go to Porsche or Lambo etc. EVER.

.
I don't think Porsche has any need for the services of a design house. Last time they designed a new car from the ground up was in the early 60's.

Looking at the Cayenne, Boxster, and Panamera, they probably just take a picture of the 911 to a local kindergarten class and tell the kids: ok can you now make this look like a (as per the above order) Range Rover, take out the rear seats, and a Crossfire.

However, I would still rate this approach ahead of the styling horrors that have been inflicted upon BMW in the last 7 years.
 

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I agree that BMW's are not particularly good looking cars but they are very relaible and yield tremendous fuel mileage.
 

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I agree that BMW's are not particularly good looking cars but they are very relaible and yield tremendous fuel mileage.
BMW's most recent engine range, post 2006 may be more fuel efficient but I don't think the pre-06 engines are anything to shout about. I've had 2 brand new BMW coupes this decade and 3 brand new Audi's, a 2000 2.0 (318ci) and a 2000 2.5 (323ci) and neither returned anything like the gas mileage I got out of later Audi's with equivalent horsepower and engine sizes. I would definitely buy another Audi over a BMW every time.

2004 3.0 Audi A4 Auto (230 bhp) - avg 28 MPG
2000 2.5 BMW 323ci manual (approx 200 bhp)??? - avg 25 MPG

2003 and 2005 1.8 Turbo Audi A4 auto (163 bhp)- avg 33 MPG
2000 2.0 BMW 318ci auto - approx 140 bhp - 30 mpg.

Never had any reliability issues with either the BMW's or Audi's (nor my Mercedes diesel), but then again I didn't expect them which is why I bought German cars.
 

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3. How to dispense with the debt. Fiat could just wipe it clean, even in today's economy, they are not badly off....but, for what? They drive most of the nail when it comes to having PF perform.....seems it is sadly the last of a generation but perhaps will spur someone else to make it up: Much like the new works/custom jobs from Michiel Vandenbrink.

Perhaps it's just time for a new player, and someone with a bit more risk involved in design...no more run of the mill.[/FONT][/COLOR]

http://www.michielvandenbrink.com/
Michiel's work is awesome, and it's pretty incredible that he has managed to pull off being an independent designer and coach builder in Holland before the age of 35. But it should not be forgotten that most of Pininfarina's bread and butter comes from designing production cars, not one-offs. There is a difference between those two, particularly w.r.t. cost efficiency.

I think it is a no-brainer for FIAT - the link between Pininfarina and Ferrari is too valuable to let die. And all for the sake of 1 year's Formula 1 budget? Surely that should be no problem - Ferrari itself is solvent enough to take Pininfarina under its wings.

Last time they designed a new car from the ground up was in the early 60's.
I think you're forgetting the 928, but since that was not going to win any beauty awards your point is well taken. And anyway, that was also 30 years ago.


Onno



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Discussion Starter #15
Michiel's work is awesome, and it's pretty incredible that he has managed to pull off being an independent designer and coach builder in Holland before the age of 35.
Yes, it is amazing for a designer to pull off independence, however, I am quite sure he suplements his income...still an amazing feat. His one offs are not good enought to sustain, but I understand he is willing to modify any project to client tastes and that's where he makes his long term.

I see :D a lot of work ahead for him in the new California :| that is a work begging for better lines, which with the numbers Ferrari is quoting [doubt we'll see that many for awhile] could keep him in the biz...PF would not DARE to change their design, especially in this climate of bankrupcy: what statement would that say?


But it should not be forgotten that most of Pininfarina's bread and butter comes from designing production cars, not one-offs. There is a difference between those two, particularly w.r.t. cost efficiency

I think it is a no-brainer for FIAT - the link between Pininfarina and Ferrari is too valuable to let die. And all for the sake of 1 year's Formula 1 budget? Surely that should be no problem - Ferrari itself is solvent enough to take Pininfarina under its wings.
Onno
Bread and butter aside, PF did container projects too, to fill in their full course meals....they have to in that Ferrari isn't enought to sustain such a large company, I'm guessing here.

unlike the independent, PF would, for the right money, perform for special clients too, which you are correct in saying, was more to the history [AND performance] of designing the one-off Ferrari ..
Thinking Jim's P 4/5 Enzo....
a personal dream realized for a special client, albeit, with a LARGE bank-roll. That, was a smart move for Jim in that PF's name on that re-work, makes a LOT of difference unlike Michiel's company...

afterall, would one rather have a work customed from Picasso or Micasso
 

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Sad but would be very surprised if Fiat does not buy the stake.
Boxer don't know this is the right thing to ask but do you think with the lost of Mr Pininfarina the older cars that was design by the actual family will appreicate more in the future? kind of like a painting?
 

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---do you think with the ---the older cars that was design by the actual family will appreicate more in the future? kind of like a painting?
No because the cars are now actually losing value worldwide.

Cars will never hold appreciating value as does artwork.

Also few people outside of the car world know who Pinninfarina is or what the organization did.
 

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Boxer don't know this is the right thing to ask but do you think with the lost of Mr Pininfarina the older cars that was design by the actual family will appreicate more in the future? kind of like a painting?
I don't think long term appreciation will be dependent on if it was designed by Pininfarina. I do think that older Ferraris will continue to rise in value long term just based on the laws of supply and demand.
 
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