Andrea Pininfarina, chief executive of Pininfarina, the design studio that’s created some of the world’s most beautiful cars, died early Thursday morning when his Vespa scooter collided with a Ford Fiesta in Trofarello outside the northern city Turin, Italy. He was 51 years old.
Mr. Pininfarina was born on June 26, 1957 in Turin, the automotive center of Italy. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1981, he came to American and was employed for a brief time with the Fruehauf corporation. In 1983, he joined the family business and, by 1988, had worked his way to General Manager. In 2001 he finally assumed the responsibility of chief executive officer.
Pinifarina, which was founded in 1930 by Andrea Pininfarina’s grandfather, Battista “Pinin” Farina, had it’s portfolio greatly diversified under Mr. Pininfarina’s leadership. The company maintained it’s high profile projects like the Enzo Ferrari, while at the same time expanding the more mainstream car designs for companies like Ford and Hyundai.
According to Bloomberg news, the death of Andrea Pininfarina could not have come at a worse time for the company, with financial “barbarians at the gate” attempting to buy out the company.