Coordinates: 44°58′10″N 7°45′54″E / 44.9693628°N 7.7650577°E / 44.9693628; 7.7650577
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44°58′10″N 7°45′54″E / 44.9693628°N 7.7650577°E / 44.9693628; 7.7650577

Pininfarina S.p.A.
Company typeSubsidiary (S.p.A.)
IndustryAutomotive and Design
FoundedTurin, Italy (May 23, 1930 (1930-05-23))
FounderBattista Farina
Key people
ServicesAutomotive design
€20.5 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
578 (2016)[1]
ParentMahindra Group
SubsidiariesAutomobili Pininfarina
Pininfarina Design Center

Pininfarina S.p.A. (short for Carrozzeria Pininfarina) is an Italian car design firm and coachbuilder, with headquarters in Cambiano, Turin, Italy. It was founded by Battista "Pinin" Farina in 1930. On 14 December 2015, Mahindra Group acquired Pininfarina S.p.A. for about €168 million.[2]

Pininfarina is employed by a wide variety of automobile manufacturers to design vehicles. These firms have included long-established customers such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Fiat, GM, Lancia, and Maserati, to emerging companies in the Asian market with Chinese manufactures like AviChina, Chery, Changfeng, Brilliance, JAC and VinFast in Vietnam and Korean manufacturers Daewoo and Hyundai.

History[change | change source]

The days as a specialist coachbuilder[change | change source]

When automobile designer and builder Battista "Pinin" Farina broke away from his brother's coach building firm, Stabilimenti Farina, in 1928, he founded "Carrozzeria Pinin Farina" with financial help from his wife's family and Vincenzo Lancia. That first year the firm employed eighteen and built 50 automobile bodies.[3]

After World War II[change | change source]

Cisitalia 202 - Museo Torino
Nash-Healey roadster
1987 Cadillac Allanté

After the war, Italy was banned from the 1946 Paris Motor Show. The Paris show was attended by 809,000 visitors (twice the pre-war figure), queues stretched from the main gate all the way to the Seine.[4] Pinin Farina and his son Sergio, determined to defy the ban, drove two of their cars (an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S and a Lancia Aprilia cabriolet) from Turin to Paris, and found a place at the entrance to the exhibition to display the two new creations. The managers of the Grand Palais said of the display, "the devil Pinin Farina", but to the press and the public it was the successful "Turin coachbuilder's anti-salon".[5]

The Ferrari partnership[change | change source]

It started in 1951 with a meeting at a restaurant in Tortona, a small town halfway between Turin and Modena. This neutral territory was chosen because neither Farina nor Enzo Ferrari wanted to meet at the other's headquarters. Battista’s son, Sergio Pininfarina recalled, "It is not difficult to imagine how I felt that afternoon when my father, without taking his eyes off the road for one moment told me his decision as we drove back to Turin: "From now on you'll be looking after the Ferrari, from A to Z. Design, engineering, technology, construction—the lot!"—I was over the moon with happiness."[6]

The move to large-scale manufacturing[change | change source]

Paris - Mondial de l'Automobile 2010 - Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider - 001

From 1954 to 1955 Pinin Farina purchased land in Grugliasco, outside of Turin, for a new factory. "The factory in no way would look like the one of Corso Trapani. It would be a car no longer on my measurements but on those of my children, built looking like them; I had this in mind and wanted it," said Farina.

The second generation of leadership[change | change source]

Starting with the planning for the new plant in Grugliasco in 1956, Farina started to groom his replacements–Sergio his son and Renzo Carli his son-in-law. To his heirs apparent, Farina said of the Corso Trapani facility "This old plant has reached the limits of its growth. It has no room for expansion and is far from being up to date. If I were alone I'd leave it as it is. But I want you to decide which way to go–to stay as we are or to enlarge. Either way is fine with me. It's your decision to make and I don't want to know what it is. I'm finished and it's your time to take over. The future is absolutely up to you." In 1958, upon leaving for a world tour Farina added, "In my family, we inherit our legacies from live people–not from the dead."[7][8]

Change of corporate name to Pininfarina[change | change source]

In 1961 at the age of 68, “Pinin” Farina formally turned his firm over to his son Sergio and his son-in-law, Renzo Carli, it was the same year that the President of Italy formally authorized the change of Farina’s last name to Pininfarina and the business took on the same name.

Pininfarina was run by Battista's grandson Andrea Pininfarina from 2001 until his death in 2008. Andrea's younger brother Paolo Pininfarina was then appointed as successor.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pininfarina S.p.A. Annual Financial Report" (PDF). Pininfarina. 31 December 2016. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  2. Philip, Siddharth Vikram; Ebhardt, Tommaso (14 December 2015). "Mahindra Agrees to Purchase of Car-Designer Pininfarina". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  3. Borgeson, Griff (December 1963). "Pininfarina man, myth, & monopoly". Road & Track: 37–38.
  4. "History of the Paris Motor Show - 2006". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  5. Caballo, Ernesto (1993). Pininfarina: Born with the automobile. Milan: Automobilia. p. 16. ISBN 9788879600521.
  6. Adolphus, David Traver (1 May 2008). "Days of Ferrari 2008, Day 3: 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe PF". Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  7. Borgeson, Griff (March 1964). "Pininfarina, The New Generation". Road & Track: 83.
  8. "Battista Pininfarina Is Dead - Pioneer Automobile Designer" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 April 1966. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  9. "Pininfarina Group: Appointments of New Officers and New Assignments in the Sign of Corporate Continuity" (PDF) (Press release). Pininfarina Group. 12 August 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.