Pininfarina celebrated 80 years of design and coachbuilding in 2010, but the Italian company is reported to be up for sale. As the current owners begin taking bids, Chinese auto giant Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. among others has expressed a strong interest in the Italian company.
An anonymous source from BAIC recently confirmed to Chinese News site eeo.com.cn, that the automaker has indeed placed a bid to acquire Pininfarina. Other parties interested in purchasing Pininfarina include Chinese automakers Brilliance Auto Group and Anhui Jiangling Automobile, Indian Mahindra and Bajaj Auto, with Canadian parts supplier Magna also said to be in on the bidding action.
Through its rich history, Pininfarina has built several custom cars including the recent reemergence of the Lancia Stratos, and provided designs for several automakers including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Volvo, and many others. One of its more recent projects is the designing of a new vehicle based on the last-generation Saab 9-3 in cooperation with BAIC. Tooling for the 9-3 was purchased from Saab by BAIC in 2009. No matter who wins, Pininfarina will complete its work with BAIC.
The Saab-based, Pininfarina designed concept car is scheduled to make its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show later this year. Underpinned by Saab engineering and technology and covered in Italian-designed sheet metal, the new BAIC model is sure to be a noteworthy addition to the automaker’s lineup.