Mahindra & Mahindra procured a major stake in Pininfarina sometime by December 2015. Sometime after the acquisition, the Pininfarina brand set-up Automobili Pininfarina, which became a new electric hypercar car company. These aren’t cars for the masses. It was instead designed to meet the needs of customers who need speed and luxury.
An all-new brand within the Mahindra umbrella, setting its own rules – away from the Group’s eco-system. The first product from the Italian design house is ready and it’s called the Battista – named after the original founder of the design house. Only 150 of these will be manufactured and it is indeed a limited edition product. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, we got an opportunity to meet Michael Perschke, CEO, Automobili Pininfarina. What does he have to say? We understand how much was Mahindra as a brand involved. You will love the story as it reveals a lot of facts about how Mahindra Group helped on this dream run project. If you are an Indian, or you love Mahindra – do read this entire story and don’t forget to share it.
Q1: With Mahindra coming in, as the major stakeholder – how did they help in making this new brand?
Mahindra had acquired 67% of Pininfarina in 2015. At that time, it was the vision of Anand and Pawan to see the potential behind the brand Pininfarina. Acquire the Pininfarina SPA brand name and having the foresight to add a new brand – Automobili Pininfarina. Even in making it into a standalone business. Back in days in Mumbai, thankfully I had a good reputation. I have in touch with Pawan and Anand when I ran the Audi India business. So, I have been in touch with the duo for some time. As a statement of trust, Anand and Pawan called me, asked me to come to Mumbai. They mentioned, Michael we want to build a new car company and we trust you are the right guy to do that. That was the second most important bit – building on relationships. Also, when do such a venture, you need a serious financial partner. Mahindra has a strategic investment to make this possible. Also the foresight, with the intention, we need to build a really big company. We need to go for a long-term investment. We need to go for a long term game. That is one reason why people are joining in. I think there are 2-3 main reasons behind that. They love the brand. They see the investment behind the brand and see how we are very different, very dynamic and agile towards work.
Q2: What are the challenges you face as build this brand and even the product?
There are a lot of day-to-day challenges. But the biggest one will be: To make people accept us as a new car company, love the design and have the trust in us with the technology. That’s where we can curate. Have faith in us and buy our products.
Q3: In the next 5-7 years, when all the competing brands step into this game, electric hypercars. They have the following, the money to spend and already the technologies. How do you see Automobili Pininfarina do then?
We see ourselves to be leading the game. Automobili Pininfarina as the number 1 brand there.