Italy’s design studio Pininfarina is turning into an electric carmaker, drawing from the money of owner Mahindra and its experience from designing for the Formula E. The newly created European brand, Automobili Pininfarina, will cater for the premium segment.
The Italian studio is to move from the design into the manufacturing space as Mahindra confirms their proposed strategy. Expect Pininfarina to design and build luxurious electric cars, making their entry with a bang as in hyper car by 2020, before sliding into the haven of electric SUVs starting from 150,000 euros. This puts them head to head with Bentley and Range Rover.
Mahindra is building on the name Pininfarina whilst keeping their engineering works in tact. Therefore, there will be two companies, Pininfarina Spa, which Mahindra & Mahindra took over in 2015 and which will continue to sign responsible for the design works, and Automobili Pininfarina.
Says Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA: “We are pleased to welcome the new company, Automobili Pininfarina which represents an additional client for Pininfarina SpA, joining the list of the many prestigious car makers for which we will be designing cars in the future. This project helps me and my family to realize my grandfather’s dream of seeing outstanding innovative cars solely branded Pininfarina on the roads.”
The first such car in the family name is to launch by 2020. Pininfarina plans for an electric hyper car lingering around the 2 million euro price bracket and capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kph in less than 2 seconds, while sporting a range of 500 kilometres. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, describes the upcoming EV as “a rare collector’s item that only a handful of connoisseurs will ever own.”
Automobili Pininfarina will be headed by Michael Perschke. The German manager was previously responsible for Audi India and on the board of Volkswagen Group Sales India.
When it comes to a broader strategy, the European luxury label Automobili Pininfarina shall allow Mahindra access to a market in which the Indian corporation has been struggling for years.