Chinese automaker, BAIC(Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation) is attempting to buy the legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina. This might prove as an important step toward China marketing a new breed of world class automobile designs. China currently produces nearly three times as many automobiles as the United States does, and is also the largest motorcycle producer in the world as well.
BAIC currently markets a reworked Chinese version of an old Saab design as the C71EV. But, BAIC would love to break out as the premiere Chinese brand, with beautiful models they could probably export.
In 2008, Andrea Pininfarina CEO of the company was killed riding a Vespa, which opened the door to offers to buy out the legendary Italian design studio. If BAIC’s bid fails, other Chinese brands and two Indian brands are interested.
Pininfarina has done design work for many brands, including show cars for Cadillac since the 1930’s as well as many exotic concept designs. One strange 1960 Pininfarina three-wheeled concept car has been offered for $3 million at auction as an example of the value of the Pininfarina produced designs.