Fiat design centralized with legendary Pininfarina designer at the helm

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has engineered a restructuring of the group's styling divisions under one roof, and has recruited a top talent to head it up. Nearly two years after retiring from his post as design chief for iconic styling house Pininfarina, Lorenzo Ramaciotti will become Fiat Group's new head of design, responsible for styling new products for six divisions: Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat Professional (light commercial trucks) and Maserati. The latter has never had its own design division, until now outsourcing its styling to independent houses like Pininfarina and Giugiaro's Italdesign.

After the initial announcement in May, the new design chief is now finally taking up the post. 59 years old, Ramaciotti was born in Modena, and, after graduating from Turin Polytechnic in '72, went to work for Pininfarina, where he advanced in the ranks until retiring in June 2005. While at Pininfarina, he oversaw the designs of over 100 projects, among his favorites the Ferrari 456 GT and Peugeot 407 Coupe, and concepts like the Ferrari Mythos and Maserati Birdcage.

[Source: Automotive News – subscription required]

Ramaciotti will be taking up his post at the company's newly-refurbished "design Mecca" at Officina 83, which incorporates 200 out of the 270 designers working for the company and where the majority of the group's design departments are being moved, including Iveco trucks and Case New Holland agricultural equipment. Alfa's Centro Stile in Arese will remain in its location, as well as Fiat's studio Brazil. Among his tasks will be to realign and reorganize styling for (nearly) all the brands – Ferrari being a notable exception – and lead a new group of young designers.

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