So 80 years have gone by since that day, May 22, 1930, when Battista âPininÂ Farina (the surname was changed from Farina to Pininfarina in 1961 by Presidential decree) founded SocietĂÆÂ Anonima Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Turin, a small artisan workshop that turned out small production runs and special bodywork to order for wealthy private clients.
Through a long process of growth and transformation, ideas and creative verve, often ahead of its time, adapting to profound social, economic and technical changes in the course of 80 years, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan workshop to an international conglomerate that operates as a global partner of the motor industry. Today Pininfarina, which was listed on the Stock Exchange in 1986, has branches in Italy, Germany, Sweden, Morocco, China and the United States. Its automotive clients include prestigious brands such as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Volvo, Tata Motors, Chery, JAC and Brilliance. Important partnerships have also been developed over the years in other sectors, with clients such as Ansaldobreda, Eurostar, Iveco and Prinoth. Pininfarina Extra, the Group Company that specialises in product and interior design, architecture, boats and aeronautics, was founded more than 20 years ago, and boasts over 400 projects to its name.
Numerous Pininfarina creations are now part of the prestigious collections of museums in Italy and abroad, such as the MoMA of New York, which acquired a Cisitalia 202 Berlinetta in the 1940s. Pininfarina design has received numerous prizes in its 80 years of history, the most recent being: the âLouis Vuitton Classic Concept awardÂ for the Maserati Birdcage 75th; the âred dot award 2008Â for the Sintesi; the âCompasso dOro 2008Â for the Nido; and the TrophĂÂ©e du Design 2009. Sergio and Battista âPininÂ Farina are both members of the famous European Automotive Hall of Fame, an institution created to celebrate the men who have made motoring history.
In addition to its 80 years of experience, success and prestigious agreements, Pininfarina is unique in the world market for its capacity to combine tradition and the skills developed over the years to meet the new demands of its clients and the market. âEras have passed, men have succeeded other men,Â comments Chairman Paolo Pininfarina, âbut in its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the 1930s: the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty, constant striving for innovation, the strength of a tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research, the capacity to interpret the clients requirements without emptying the brand of its identity, and a propensity for long-term collaborations. These values, together with the commitment of the entire Group, will enable us to build a bridge towards the future.Â
The rapid changes that have taken place on the global market in the last two years, and in particular the unprecedented crisis that has hit the motor industry, have inevitably also affected the current physiognomy of Pininfarina. On one hand, one of the pillars on which the company has relied since its origins has vanished, the production of cars for other manufacturers: a tangible sign of this transformation was marked at the end of 2009 by the sale of the Grugliasco plant which sanctioned Pininfarinas transformation from artisan concern to industrial company, when it was inaugurated in the 1950s.
On the other, the scenario has changed and the opportunities linked to zero emissions urban mobility have grown significantly: the world focuses increasingly on protecting the environment and Pininfarina was the first Italian industrial company, and one of the first in Europe, to propose a 100% electric concept car. Today, while all the large carmakers are focusing on the electric car as an opportunity, Pininfarina takes another step forward, promoting a philosophy that includes the choice of electric transport, both individual and collective, as part of a new lifestyle that everyone should adopt in order to increase energy saving, protecting the planet at the same time. This is why eco-sustainable mobility has become one of the three pillars on which the Groups industrial plan now rests.
âIn the future of Pininfarina," explained CEO Silvio Pietro Angori, âwe will offer even more industrial design services, continuing to play a key role as a design house and as an innovative partner with unique skills, capable of supplying solutions that translate into competitive advantages for our clients. Consistent with our industrial plan, we will pursue our commitment to ecomobility, with the development and production of electric vehicles (cars and buses), and as research into alternative components and materials and into aerodynamic shapes that help to make vehicles lighter and to reduce consumption and emissions. And finally, we will concentrate on the creation of value from the brand, whose potential derives from the reputation it has built up in 80 successful years.Â
It would be difficult to think of a better place to celebrate Pininfarinas 80 years of activity. The Palexpo in Geneva will host the eightieth edition of a Motor Show that Pininfarina is particularly fond of: it is also thanks to this event if the company has been able to acquire such fame and build up its international image, laying the foundations for the credibility and iconic power of its brand. And, except for a few rare exceptions, Geneva has hosted the debuts of dozens of show cars and research prototypes developed over the years. The 2uettottanta is no exception.
The decision to link the companys 80th anniversary with the development of the 2uettottanta, a concept car with Alfa Romeo mechanicals, reflects Pininfarinas desire to look to the future with optimism. The 2uettottanta interprets and evolves certain strong elements of the Alfa Romeo-Pininfarina alliance and represents an innovative approach, projected into the third millennium, to a theme that is firmly rooted in Pininfarina history, the 2-seater spider. It is an iconic object that links Pininfarinas past and future with an imaginary thread.
To put out its 80 candles, Pininfarina gave itself another gift. At Geneva it will be exhibiting two gems with the Ferrari and Maserati logos, the 458 Italia and the GranCabrio, which earned Pininfarina the TrophĂÂ©e du Design 2009 from the French periodical LAutomobile Magazine.