• Sep 30th 2009 at 9:00AM
  • 9
Few lines are as fluid as those between the Italian and German automobile industries. Executives seem to move back and forth between the two faster than the exotic supercars for which they're responsible, and all the more so when it comes to designers.

Frank Stephenson moved to Ferrari and on to the Fiat group after 11 years at BMW. Italian designer Walter de Silva cut his proverbial teeth at Fiat and Alfa Romeo before moving to Audi, where he also oversaw Lamborghini's design department – and he has since been promoted to head of design for the entire Volkswagen group. German-born, Italian-schooled Wolfgang Egger has similarly bounced back and forth between Alfa Romeo, VW and Lancia before succeeding de Silva as head of Audi and Lamborghini design. The list goes on and on, and if the latest reports from Italy are to be believed, you can now add to them one Flavio Manzoni.

As director of creative design in Wolfsburg, Manzoni was known as de Silva's right-hand man. But now he's said to be moving back to Italy to head up Ferrari's design department. If these reports are accurate, Manzoni will be replacing current Ferrari design director Donato Coco (who in turn replaced the aforementioned Stephenson), report directly to managing director Amedeo Felisa and work to establish a Ferrari style center to bring more of the design work, currently handled by Pininfarina, in-house.

[Source: Quattroroute via eurocarblog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring back Scagglietti.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where did Frank Stepehnson go? Maybe he could freelance with BMW on the 3rd gen Mini design. BMW's 07 redesign was such a disappointment after his beautiful original version.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wonder if it will be bigger still forcing BMW to change the name from Mini to Just Small.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen. I have the 02' R53 Mini. BMW didn't really go anywhere with the new facelift. Most people I spoke to about it didn't even know they changed it, so it's not like anyone actually cared. The design could have lived much longer and the car would have continued to sell itself IMO.

        I hate the new design juuust enough not to consider a Mini a second time around.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just one thing on Mr Manzoni.
      I met him at a major motor show (maybe Geneva) while Lancia was presenting the new Fulvia prototype (probably the prettiest Lancia in decades), which I think Manzoni designed all alone in his spare time.
      I approached him to shake his hands a few minutes after the unveiling of the car and said something about how I loved the original Fulvia.
      He opened his laptop, seated on the stairs with me and another few enthusiast and spent some 30 minutes showing and explaining his designs, his love for old cars, and all the technicals that went in that gorgeous prototype.
      He couldn't care less about journalists and vips: he just loved to talk about his work and cars in general with other like minded "car guys".
      A real petrolhead: can't wait to see his work at Ferrari!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always wondered what happened to that guy who played Peter on the Brady Bunch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Un-uhh, that is David Wallace, Dunder-Mifflin is sure going to miss their CFO....
      • 5 Years Ago
      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! How come Ferrari took a design guy from the most boring-looking company in the world!?!?!? The GTI looks like a '93 civic, the Jetta is soporific, the Beetle is the only neo-retro car in the world that isn't cool anymore... Man that company sucks on design! (and reliability...) Only the Passat CC haes an interesting look, but that is not up to it's price.

      How comes the most excentric car company in the world ask for design clues from the most boring one?