One of the great men of car design history has passed away: Sergio Pininfarina is no longer with us.
Contrary to public belief, Sergio Pininfarina was no designer - unlike his father, Battista - but a very respectable and influential manager. Not only did he widen the scope of Pininfarina's operation by opening R&D facilites, as well as two production factories (which would almost ruin the company decades later and were eventually sold off or closed), he also made Pininfarina the home of generations of outstanding design talents, such as Paolo Martin, Aldo Brovarone, Leonardo Fioravanti and Ken Okuyama, to name but a few.
Like Nuccio Bertone, who was not just his direct competitor, but a kindred spirit in more ways than one, he allowed his designers to flourish - with the result that Turin remained at the peak of global design leadership for decades. Yet, like Bertone and a number of other proud family businesses, Sergio's retirement coincided with a difficult period for the company, which reached its peak when his son and successor, Andrea Pininfarina, died in a road accident in 2008.
In Sergio Pininfarina, the automotive society lost a true gentleman who valued and nourished great talents and helped shape car design on a global scale.