Friday 8 August 2008

Andrea Pininfarina passes away

Andrea Pininfarina, head of the Italian design firm, died on Thursday morning in a motorcycle accident after a car collided with the Vespa he was riding to the company's design and r&d center in Cambiano, near Turin.

Pininfarina, who was 51, had been Chief Executive Officer of Pininfarina S.p.A. since 2001 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2006. Andrea Pininfarina was the grandson of the founder of the firm, Battista "Pinin" Farina. He shares executive duties at Pininfarina with three other family members — his father Sergio is honorary chairman, brother Paolo is vice-chairman and sister Lorenza sits on the board.

The death of Andrea Pininfarina comes at a time when the family-controlled company is in the midst of a crucial restructuring after Pininfarina's consolidated net loss increased from €21.9 million in 2006 to €114.9 million in 2007.

Today the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a statement Pininfarina was "the representative of a dynasty that helped bring the story of 'made in Italy' to the world."

New investors, including Piero Ferrari, Ratan Tata and Vincent Bollore, are due to inject £80m into Pininfarina to re-capitalise the company.

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