Paolo Pininfarina Has Passed On

BY Sean Loo

Paolo Pininfarina was the chairman of the Pininfarina Group from 2008 until the time of his passing, aged 65.

In the world of automotive design, some names are etched deeper into the metal than others, and Paolo Pininfarina was one such indelible mark.

The revered chairman of the Pininfarina Group, Paolo Pininfarina, has sadly passed away at the age of 65.

Born in 1958 into a lineage of automotive royalty, Paolo was a torchbearer of a visionary legacy initiated by his grandfather Battista Farina in 1930 and nurtured by his father, Sergio Pininfarina.

Paolo's journey began at the Politecnico Torino, where he honed his skills in mechanical engineering. His academic prowess catapulted him into roles that shaped his career and, indeed, the trajectory of automotive design.

Here was a man who wasn't just born into greatness but was determined to earn it.

By 1984, he was steering the quality management of the Cadillac two-seat convertible project - a role that proved his mettle and preluded his ascent through the ranks of General Motors.

His influence didn’t stop at luxury cars; it spanned to the Chevy Lumina, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Trans Sport.

Yet, Paolo's vision extended beyond the shimmer of car bonnets and the roar of engines. In 1987, he ventured into the broader design world with Pininfarina Extra S.r.l., turning his creative gaze to furniture, appliances, and even the maritime industry.

Ascending to the role of chairman in 2008, Paolo not only continued the family legacy but also steered it through modernity’s challenging waters with an unwavering commitment to the company’s ethos.

His leadership was not just about maintaining a legacy; it was about inspiring innovation and embracing change.

Silvio Angori, Pininfarina's CEO, captured the collective heartbreak and reverence of the company, stating, “We are all extremely grateful to Eng. Pininfarina for his extraordinary contribution to the company and for always passionately advocating for our history and corporate identity both in terms of style and ethical and behavioural choices."

As Angori poignantly noted, the best way to honour his memory is to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation - just as Paolo would have wanted.