Mahindra In Talks To Buy Pininfarina
Mahindra, one of India’s largest automobile manufacturers, is reportedly in talks to buy Italian car design firm Pininfarina. That’s the word from Bloomberg, quoting "people familiar with the matter," which claim the Indian company is closing in on the purchase of Italy’s famous design house. Founded in 1930, Pininfarina has posted losses in 10 of the past 11 years as it struggled with debt. Despite numerous attempts to restructure debts, Pininfarina ended all mass automotive production in late 2010 with the conclusion of the contract to build the Alfa Romeo Brera and Spider.
Pininfarina still cooperates with a number of carmakers though, including Mahindra. The Italians had worked on the Indian company’s Halo electric sports car concept shown in 2014 and currently provides input on SUV development. Mahindra declined to comment on takeover talks, but Pininfarina’s shares surged 26 percent Wednesday, the biggest gain in almost four years, since the rumor emerged. Mahindra stock also gained 1.5 percent. Representatives of the two firms have been negotiating for weeks, but talks could still fall apart, the report added. Should Mahindra buy Pininfaria, the Italian house could help revamp the Ssangyong SUV brand, which the Indians purchased in 2011.
Continue reading to learn more about Mahindra’s plans regarding Pininfarina.
Why it matters
With the two cooperating for some years now, news that Mahindra could purchase Pininfarina is far from surprising. But while such a deal would save the Italian brand from going bankrupt, like Bertone did in 2014, it remains to be seen whether Pininfarina will still be able to develop production cars of its own or return to coachbuilding under Indian ownership. On the other hand, I guess anything is better than going under, especially since we already lost Bertone, which gave us the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, the Lamborghini Miura, and the Lancia Stratos, among many other designs.
Brief Pininfarina History
Founded by Battista "Pinin" Farina in 1930 as a coachbuilder, Pininfarina spent its first decade building bodies for automakers such as Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Isotta-Fraschini, Cadillac, and Rolls-Royce. In 1951, Pininfarina and Ferrari signed a partnership that saw all road-going production Ferraris, except the 1973 Dino 308 GT4 and 2013 LaFerrari, penned by the Turin-based firm.
Later in the 1950s, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider became the first vehicle Pininfarina produced in large numbers. Other notable cars design or built by Pininfarina include the Peugeot 403 Cabriolet, Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, Fiat 124 Spider, Lancia 037, and the Bentley Azure Mark I Convertible. As it began to move away from mass production due to financial hardship, Pininfarina focused on one-off and concept cars. Notable designs include the 2010 Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta concept, 2010 Lancia Stratos, 2012 Ferrari SP12 EC, 2013 Pininfarina Sergio concept, and the 2013 BMW Gran Lusso Coupé concept.
Find out more about the 2015 Ferrari Sergio in our full review here.