Friday, August 08, 2008

RIP Andrea Pininfarina, Creator of Beautiful Objects

From his obituary in today's NYTimes:
Andrea Pininfarina, the chairman and chief executive of the Italian company founded by his family that designs Ferraris and other cars, died on Thursday when a car struck his Vespa scooter. He was 51.

Mr. Pininfarina died instantly in the accident in the town of Trofarello, which is seven miles south of the northwestern city of Turin and close to Pininfarina’s headquarters, a police spokesman said. The 78-year-old driver of the car that hit Mr. Pininfarina had failed to give him the right of way, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Mr. Pininfarina was part of a family dynasty that began its move into industry in 1930 when his grandfather, Battista Pinin Farina, founded the company, which in its first year designed cars for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and other Italian manufacturers. [...]

Mr. Pininfarina’s death raised speculation that the family could sell the company. Its shares surged 21 percent on Thursday.

Pininfarina is working on five cars, including ones for Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Ford and Mitsubishi. The company has branched out in recent years and has designed many products including lamps, pens, water bottles, coffee pots, mobile phones and the Olympic torch used in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.