Pininfarina, the Italian styling house best known for designing all your favorite Italian cars plus a few Coke machines, has been on rocky financial footing for a while now. A savior might be in the offing, however, in the form of massive Indian conglomerate Mahindra.
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India’s largest maker of sport-utility vehicles, is in talks to buy Italian auto design and engineering company Pininfarina SpA, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mahindra is closing in on the purchase of the company that designed the Ferrari Testarossa after weeks of talks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Negotiations are continuing and could still fall apart, the people said. Pininfarina’s shares surged 26 percent Wednesday, the biggest gain in almost four years, lifting the company’s value to 155 million euros ($170 million).
Pininfarina’s famous works include the Ferrari 288 GTO, the Lancia 037, and even the funky little Honda Beat, along with multitudes of one-offs over the years.
Pininfarina’s been independent for a long while, but the march of time has slowly been catching up with the company. Not only does it not really mass produce cars on any sort of real scale in its factories anymore, but long-time chief Sergio Pininfarina sadly passed away in 2012.
Add on top of that all the years of financial woes, and things weren’t looking too good for the carrozzeria.
But I’m really not all that sad about Pininfarina potentially getting sold. Maybe Mahindra isn’t as prestigious and Italian as Ferrari, but it’s much better than the company going away completely.
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