28.04.2008 TATA EYES UP PININFARINA STAKE

ANDREA PININFARINA

Italian auto designer and contract vehicle manufacturer Carozzeria Pininfarina says that the Tata's have expressed an interest in participating in the company's planned capital increase to finance its forthcoming operations.

Italian auto designer and contract vehicle manufacturer Carozzeria Pininfarina says that the Tata's have expressed an interest in participating in the company's planned capital increase to finance its forthcoming operations.

The company plans to introduce a range of luxury electric vehicles in 2010 covering virtually every segment and plans to raise up to 100 million in mid 2008

At an analyst's presentation of its industrial plan the Italian design firm disclosed that Tata Industries' chairman Ratan Tata has expressed an interest in the Tata Group companies participating in Pininfarina's planned capital increase with the subscription of a portion of the options that will be assigned to the Pininfarina family.

In addition, the Tatas and Pininfarina have signed a letter of intent for Tatas also participating as a minority stakeholder in a research, design and engineering centre that Pininfarina plans to start in Pune by the end of 2008 and take it operational next year. Pininfarina will be the majority shareholder with management responsibility.

'This agreement witnesses the great attention Pininfarina is dedicating to an emerging and highly developing market such as the Indian one,'' said the founder's grandson Andrea Pininfarina, the chairman and CEO of the Italian firm. ''Thanks to our partner, one of the worldwide major automotive manufacturers with strong roots on the Indian market, we will reach a higher excellence level in the design and engineering sectors,'' he added.

The Pune centre will provide its services to Indian and international automotive manufacturers with a larger range of services to OEMs, and strengthen its ''engineering best cost services developed since 2005 with Pininfarina's Moroccan engineering centre."

The association with Pininfarina will enable Tatas to access the technology and design capabilities of one of the foremost auto companies in the world. It is a leading supplier of automotive services with proprietary know-how in design, product and process engineering and niche vehicle manufacturing. Its 2007 revenues were 670 million, of which 80 per cent came from its manufacturing and the remainder from design services. Pininfarina's Italian plants can produce up to 60,000 cars a year and its Sweden plant 20,000 cars a year. 

The company is developing the Pininfarina-branded luxury segment 4-seater electric vehicles with exclusive designs through a 50:50 joint venture with the French group Bollore, which is contributing its proprietary Lithium Metal Polymer technology batteries for exclusive us in the Pininfarina electric vehicles. The battery will provide the Pininfarina electric vehicles with a range of 250 km in city driving. This battery, developed over 15 years of research, combines the benefit of high energy density with an exceptionally long life, enabling the vehicles it powers to run for more than 200,000 km. These 100 per cent electric vehicles produce no carbon dioxide emissions  and are capable of reaching zero to 50 km/h in 4.9 seconds, sufficient acceleration for overtaking and a top speed of 130 km/h

Based in Cambiano, Italy, the company was founded in 1930 by automobile designer and builder Battista "Pinin" Farina. Since the '80s the company has also provided industrial design services like 3M and Motorola.

Report courtesy of Domain-B
 

2008 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed