The famed Italian design firm Pininfarina could be scooped up by India’s Mahindra Group, according to reports.
The 85-year-old company and longtime partner of Ferrari, as well as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Peugeot among other automakers, is said to be in talks with Mahindra to take a majority stake of the company, sources close to Reuters said.
Pininfarina hasn’t weathered the economic downturn well, reducing its staff in recent years to about half of what it was in 2006. In 2011, the company announced it would end automotive production as assembly contracts with Alfa Romeo and Volvo ended, leaving the design work. The company is known for designing such iconic models as the Lancia Aurelia, Peugeot 504 coupe and convertible, Alfa Romeo Spider and countless Ferraris.
For Mahindra, a stake in Pininfarina would bring a prestigious name to its group of brands and potentially set itself up for introducing cars to appeal to other markets.
Last year, Mahindra expressed interest in partnering with distressed NEVS, who took over the Saab factory in hopes of rescuing that brand. It’s also been rumored to be pushing Ssangyong, the Korean SUV maker it owns, into the U.S. market.