• Nov 13, 2007
Legendary design house Pininfarina is looking for some new partners to help stop the flow of red ink. A few high-profile projects in the past several years haven't done much to diminish the losses, apparently. As much as we loved the Glickenhaus Ferrari 612 P4/5 and 612K, a couple of gorgeous one-offs couldn't possibly be enough to keep an operation of this size afloat. Although Pininfarina is also building the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe and Spider, Ford Focus Coupe Cabriolet, Mitsubishi Colt CZC, and the Volvo C70, times are tough.
The company has lost almost twice as much money so far this year as they did during the same period last year: 39.1 million euros compared to "just" 16.3 million euros for the same period in 2006. After letting Ken Okuyama get away from them and losing Lorenzo Ramaciotti to FIAT, they need to make some important decisions soon if they want to keep the house of Farina afloat. To help right the ship they've already started working with automotive consultant Roland Berger and with financial advisers, Rothschild.

The initial plan is to add manufacturing partners to help reduce Pininfarina's financial risks in this unpredictable contract manufacturing business. The brand name is golden, but it hasn't managed to attract enough projects recently. Hopefully these new advisers will be able to save this great Italian institution.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some poigniant points made so far...

      Remember that Ford did buy the carrozzeria 'Ghia' back in the 70s and with only Volvo left from of PAG could do with another prestige brand, but to be honest slapping Pininfarina badges on good, but mainstream cars won't have a halo effect, even Ghia trim cars only sold because of the spec, no-layman actually knew what Ghia was.

      The critical problem for Pinifarina as a niche vehicle builder is the cost of platform modification modules/components and of course labour costs. I imagine that as their operating costs have risen so quality has unfortunately declined to maintain (in monthly budget estimations) some kind of profitability. But poor quality comes back to haunt if client (Ford etc) rejection/re-work costs have been written into the contract and obliged to be met (usually at bi-annual or annual points).

      In truth Pinifarina's Italian niche vehicle operation needs to be down-sized and accompanied by a new plant in China to export to Europe and critically feed the massive business opportunity to Chinese/Indian/Japanese clients. They have a 'China representation' office, so imagine they are pushing hard to open business and political doors there to feed Pinifarina and their Matra sub-division.

      Turan Ahmed - 'investment-auto-motives', London.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In recent times, Pininfarina also created rolling works of art such as the Chery M14, and the Brilliance Jinjue. What a shame it would be if Pininfarina will no longer be around to keep up its tradition of automotive excellence.

      Sources:
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/10/10/chery-may-bring-m14-convertible-to-u-s-next-year/
      http://www.leftlanenews.com/2007-zhonghua-jinjue-chinas-bmw.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The company has lost almost twice as much money so far this year as they did during the same period last year: 39.1 million euros compared to 'just' 16.3 million euros for the same period in 2006."

      16.3 * 2 = 32.6 < 39.1
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only other thing that I've seen Pininfarina involved in is external hard drive design (look up Simpletech, I have mine in red to match my Ferrari 599, errr... Honda). Besides the price and being designed in a wind tunnel (j/k), the name on the side sold me! Pininfarina should definitely design more products
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