Pininfarina is an automotive engineering and design styling house as well known as any Italian fashion brand. The company gave us the Ferrari 250 GT and it gave the 1980’s US TV detective show, Miami Vice, the Ferrari Testarossa.
However for the last decade Pininfarina’s fortunes have waned, this once great styling and engineering design establishment is currently engaged in talks with India’s largest builder of SUV’s Mahindra & Mahindra who want to buy one of Italy’s if not Europe’s most influential of companies.
Pininfarina’s fortunes are linked to that of its country, Italy itself is struggling to stay out of recession. The economy has grown only 4 percent in the 16 years since the euro was created and this has led to company’s like Pininfarina becoming prime acquisitions to foreign companies.
Mahindra & Mahindra and Pininfarina already have a working relationship and talks between the two companies are said to be at the early stages.
The Indian manufacturer is clearly looking to add more design fizz to its SUV model line up and hopes Italian design influence will work its magic on the company’s Ssangyong brand.
Pininfarina’s roll call of design classics is long and clients have included Rolls Royce, Maserati as well as a host of volume manufactures.
Pininfarina ended client manufacturing for its automotive partners three years ago and the company diversified its design services to cover architectural projects, vending machines and even toothbrush design all just to pay the bills.
Companies come and go and in the end economics will determine whether Pininfarina survives, sentimentality has no room for unprofitable business models.