August 7, 2008

Andrea Pininfarina, 1957-2008

A sad day for lovers of automotive beauty, Andrea Pininfarina was killed today when his Vespa scooter collided with a car whos driver had failed to yield , the much too common type of motorcycle accident.  It happened just outside of Torino,  Pininfarina was on his way to the design center in Cambiano.

Andrea Pininfarina was the third generation of what can be argued, is the most famous and influential design firm in the history of automobiles. The Pininfarina company has been since the 1930s when it was founded by Battista "Pinin" Farina, leader in design and innovation. Andrea Pininfarina, 51, had been leading in the family business since the late eighties and succeed his father, Sergio.

In recent years he had overseen new roles and alliances for Pininfarina, from electric cars with France's Bolloré to strategic deals with India's Tata. In 2004, Andrea Pininfarina was among Businessweek's "25 stars of Europe".

Trading in Pininfarina stock was halted on the Milan exchange earlier today for excess increase. The title was suspended at +20.5%, rising on speculations of a possible sale of the Pininfarina family's 54.9% stake.

"Women were always my inspiration for designing cars" said Pinin Farina in 1965 when photographed by my grandfather for a book on the Italian post war recovery. Throughout the years the Pininfarina firm has maintained this ideal of "sexy" beauty that is still such a vital component of the "made in Italy" brand. Automotive fans the world over are grateful and Axis of Oversteer extends its condolences to the Pininfarina family.

(Italian only, Pininfarina traces the history of the company and his family.)

1 comment:

  1. What a terrible tragedy. It seems that the company has not been doing so well and as was mentioned, there has been speculation that this could mean the end for the company, or at least, for the company as we have known it up until now. I doubt the name and scope of the company will ever change too much however, as it has been recognized as the leader in automotive design for some time. RIP Andrea.


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