Sergio Pininfarina, the man behind the designs for some of the most glamorous cars ever to hit the road, has died. The information on the passing of the 85-year-old designer was released by the Pininfarina company.
Pininfarina’s designs can be seen on some of the world’s most iconic cars, including the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, the 1996 Peugeot 406 Coupe, the 1986 Fiat 124 Spider, the 2002 Ferrari Enzo, the 2003 Maserati Quattroporte and the 2004 Ferrari Scaglietti.
He headed a family company founded in 1930 by his father, Gian Battista 'Pinin' Farina, that made its name by creating stunning production and concept cars. Pininfarina is mostly widely known for its design work with Ferrari, although Pininfarina’s thumbprint can be seen on vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Bentley, Volvo and Peugeot.
The ground-breaking 1947 Cisalfa coupe, designed by Gian Battista after World War Two, now sits in New York's Museum of Modern Art. Gian Battista initiated the Ferrari connection in 1952, but Sergio managed the relationship with the legendary Enzo Ferrari and boosted the business into the revolutionary status it would enjoy for the past 40 years.
Born in 1926, Sergio joined the family firm after graduating in mechanical engineering from Turin's Polytechnic University, became chief executive in 1961 and then chairman when his father died in 1966.
In Sergio’s 40 years at the helm, the company's automobile production rose from 524 units per year to more than 50,000. Pininfarina was listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in 1986.
The recent financial crisis affected the company heavily, as it had to close its manufacturing operations and reinvent itself as a smaller design house, with the family's 77 percent stake in the company used as collateral for loans with creditors it needs to pay back by 2018. In May, Pininfarina said it expected to post its first profit this year since 2004.