Mumbai: Automobili Pininfarina, the world’s newest luxury electric carmaker owned by Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, will start selling its limited edition first car at $2 million (₹13.4 crore) towards the end of 2020.
Subsequently, the firm will introduce two more products, catering to a wider audience.
“This is a way to introduce Pininfarina as a brand and create a brand halo, and follow a top-down approach," said Pawan Goenka, managing director, M&M.
The Anand Mahindra-led company owns Pininfarina SpA. Automobili Pininfarina is a unit of Pininfarina SpA. The launch gives Mahindra its long desired luxury car brand under its portfolio. Still, the move has to be seen against the backdrop of efforts made by Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. that started pursuing premium portfolio dreams 30 years ago. Their respective brands Lexus and Infiniti are still not the first choice of customers in the segment.
In the past, Mahindra has bid for luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover. It now seems to have changed its strategy and decided to grow Pininfarina into a luxury brand by leveraging the Italian firm’s legacy.
“It helps create the brand because Pininfarina is Mahindra. Even though our badging isn’t on the vehicle, Pininfarina’s is. This is just the first phase of our EV (electric vehicle) story. The second product, which we will launch after a year, is not a limited edition. There’s a third as well," Goenka said.
Pininfarina has a storied past and is known for its classic designs for Ferrari, Fiat and Alfa Romeo in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as more recent work for Bentley, BMW and Maserati. The death of its patriarch Sergio Pininfarina in 2012 and financial trouble dating back to 2008 led to its sale.
In pursuit of a luxury brand, Mahindra decided to develop and sell products from Pininfarina, a Turin-based design and engineering firm it acquired in December 2015 for around $185 million. Pininfarina will develop an electric sports car and sell it under its own badge, Mint first reported in March 2017.
The limited edition model, of which less than a 100 units will be made, is code-named PF0 and will be showcased at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in August, where cars worth more than a million dollars are showcased. It will have a top speed of 400km per hour with battery range of about 500km. The electric sports car claims to reach a speed of 100km in less than two seconds. “In that price range, we can sell only a limited number. One of the reasons people buy is because it’s a limited edition. We have been told that customers who consider this vehicle never ask how much, but how many we are going to make. They want us to make fewer vehicles," Goenka said.