Pininfarina drops Contract Manufacturing to focus on Electric Vehicles

Italia’s famed sports-car design house will cease to be countries only remaining contract manufacturer. The announcement is part of a framework agreement that the company is in the final stages of negotiating.

Pininfarina has had some hard times over the past years. Amidst loosing its losing its CEO, Andrea Pininfarina in a traffic accident back in August, the company faced a huge loss last year. Now creditor banks have approved a financial rescue for the company that saved it from the equivalent of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the U.S.

Currently Pininfarina builds the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe and Spider and the Ford Focus coupe-cabriolet, but the company’s production lines are running far below their capacity. The company will fulfill its existing contracts which expire in 2011 and will not seek any new manufacturing orders.

Instead, the company will focus exclusively on building electric cars. In 2010 it will commence production of the B0 electric car. The little EV was developed with Bolloré, a French industrial group. Bolloré provides the lithium-metal polymer (LMP) battery pack that sits under the floor and the supercapacitors that gather and store energy recovered during braking.

The cars will be made at Pininfarina’s production facility at Cambiano, Turin. Pininfarina intends the B0 to be the first of many high-tech, EV-specific cars to come.

Source: Automotive News Europe