Carlo Bonzanigo is to become the new Design Director of Pininfarina SpA, reporting directly to Pininfarina Group CEO Silvio Angori. He is replacing Fabio Filippini, who has headed Pininfarina design since 2011 and is leaving the company on March 31st 2017 for personal reasons.
Bonzanigo, a former PSA designer, has been working for the Forli, Italy-based consultancy firm, Q-iD since 2015. While with the firm, Bonzanigo headed up the firm’s Q-Red automotive division, which is based in Maranello and works as consultant for a particular Italian sport car manufacturer based close by… We wonder if they mean the same one Pininfarina is famous for working for?
For Bonzanigo, it is a return to his roots — he began his career with Pininfarina in 1995 after graduating from The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and an MA in Transportation design from Arts Centre’s now-closed European outpost in Vevey, Switzerland. During Bonzanigo’s first period in Cambiano he worked on numerous projects including the Citroën Osée concept and the production Maserati GranTurismo.
He is however, best known in the design community for his time at PSA — a firm he joined in 2004. Originally Chief Designer in the Citroën Studio, he became Director of concept cars for the brand in 2007, and in 2008 was appointed ‘Maître Expert Design’ for PSA Group. Projects he worked on during this time include the C3 Picasso, C4 Aircross and current generation C1 production cars. He had a significant role in the development of DS and is known for his involvement in the DS Hypnos, DS Revolte, Tubik and DS Numéro 9 concepts. He led the programme on the Beijing 2012 shooting brake concept, by then as Head of Advanced Design for the DS Brand.
It is not yet known of the reasons for Filippini’s move. The designer succeeded Lowie Vermeersch, joining the Italian firm in April 2011, having previously been Senior Vice President of Interior Design for Groupe Renault. During Filippini’s time at Pininfarina he led the teams who designed the Sergio and Cambiano concepts, and most recently the H2 concept, shown at this year’s Geneva show. During his tenure, the carrozzeria underwent some of its most financially tumultuous times. Months of uncertainty over the firm’s future were resolved last year, however, with the joint takeover by Indian firms Tech Mahindra and Mahindra & Mahindra for €25.3 Million in December 2015.
While yet unclear, these changes could be the first sign of the new owners’ plans for the Pininfarina brand, which also maintains an R&D engineering operation and works on projects outside of automotive (product design, architecture and interiors) under the Pininfarina Extra banner. CDN will follow up with both designers and update you as we have more information and are able to speak to them in person.
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