Pininfarina to Build Electric Cars After Current Contracts Expire
If once the answer was fight until death but don't give up your dignity, now there are other ways to cope with the problem. Thus, the only Italian remaining manufacturer in activity, Pininfarina, approved in late December a revised industrial plan that is going to put an end to contract manufacturing when current productions finish, Autonews reported.
The current contracts will expire at the end of 2011, but the Italian groups is no longer searching for other contract manufacturing orders. From now on, it will only focus on creating electric cars.
The extreme measures were taken before creditor banks approved a rescuing loan of 180 million euros that is likely to save the company from bankruptcy. Since nothing is give for free, in exchange for the loan that is going to pay part of Pininfarina's 597.7 million euro debt, the creditor banks will get 50.6 percent of the group's shares. That means Pininfarina's family will lose control of the company founded in 1930 by Batista Pininfarina, who was the grandfather of the current chairman Paolo Pininfarina and vice-chairman Lorenza Pininfarina.
Fortunately, even if the creditor banks became the main shareholder of the group, they would not ask for board seats or management changes.
More importantly, the creditor banks will continue their action next spring when they are going to decrease another 70 million euro from Pininfarina's debts. This time, the money will be given to the Italian group in exchange of transferring the Pininfarina trademark to a newly created, bank owned company.
At the moment, Pininfarina is building the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe, Spider and the Ford Focus Coupe Cabriolet. Yet, starting with 2010, the group will start the production of the B0, an electric car developed in collaboration with French industrial group Bollore.
It looks like a new start for the last mohican...