August 7, 2008

Pininfarina CEO killed in motorcycle accident

Andrea Pininfarina, CEO of Pininfarina SpA— the auto design house that crafted the Alfa Romeo Spider, GTV and the Ferrari F355 — was killed today in a traffic accident. He was 51.

Pininfarina died instantly in the collision between his Vespa and a Ford Festiva at about 8:15 a.m in Trofarello near the northern city of Torino, according to local authorities. As of this time, the company has yet to comment.

Pininfarina's death comes at a turbulent time for the iconic carrozeria; he had recently been leading the company's restructuring efforts. The company — founded in 1930 by Andrea's grandfather Battista — has posted losses for four years as incoming work has slowed and production costs have soared.

Bloomberg reported this morning that as part of their turnaround strategy, the company was planning to sell 100 million euros of new shares to its largest investors. Those plans are rumored to be on hold and speculation grows that the company may be sold altogether.

Pininfarina is survived by his wife Cristina Pellion di Persano and three children.


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