Expect to see four new models with "Designed by Pininfarina" placards come out of the deal.
Pininfarina has been in the game for quite some time, designing everything from the gorgeous Ferrari 458 Italia to San Francisco's public transit Muni street cars, but recently the design company has been looking to solve one of the biggest issues surrounding modern cars of all sorts, especially those with alternate powertrains: bad design. The design studio recently debuted the Tesla-fighting H600 Concept as well as its SUV cousins, the K550 and K750.
With these ventures, it appears that the former coach builder is attempting to preserve relevance in the age of batteries and autonomy. Autocar is now reporting that, in addition to its current projects, Pininfarina has just signed a £30 million ($38.8 million) deal with Iranian manufacturer Iran Khodro, which develops vehicles for Peugeot, Renault, and Iranian brand Samand. Pininfarina's end of the bargain requires it to build a medium-sized passenger car, likely to manifest as either a sedan or an SUV. Unlike previous design deals, this contract asks that Pininfarina commit itself to the entire process, from initial design sketches to a complete drivable product and even asks it participates in the initial phases of mass production.
The platform it will produce for the first vehicle will also underpin three subsequent models, allowing Iran Khodro to maximize the results of the deal. Aside from the money, the three year deal is slated to give Pininfarina a gateway into the Middle East. "The agreement with Iran Khodro represents another important step in the growth strategy of Pininfarina on markets of the new Silk Road and the Middle East," said Silvio Pietro Angori, Pininfarina Group CEO. "We are happy to contribute to the development of the Iranian Automotive industry through a very significant style and engineering program for our company."
We see the deal helping Pininfarina along in the future by giving it more experience in the realm of production, which could help it when it comes time to send blueprints of the striking H600 to the factory for production. Note: Pininfarina H600 Concept Pictured.