M&M sets up electric ‘hypercar’ unit in Europe under Italian brand

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest SUV maker, said it will launch a high-end electric car brand in Europe, with the first model out in 2020.

The company will leverage the design talent of Pininfarina, an Italian design car designer it purchased three years ago.

The new brand will be called Automobili Pininfarina.

“The company will design, engineer and manufacture high technology, extreme performance, luxury electric vehicles for the most discerning global customer,” it said.

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said the new company will draw upon the “pedigree and design vocabulary” of the Pininfarina aesthetic heritage.

“We will develop a rare collector’s item that only a handful of connoisseurs will ever own. It will be an innovative and pioneering product powered by high technology,” he said.

Automobili Pininfarina plans to launch its first model, a `Pininfarina’ badged electric hypercar, in 2020.

“We believe that this is the perfect time to launch Automobili Pininfarina, given Mahindra’s growing EV expertise from our participation in Formula E racing where we are currently second in the constructors’ and drivers’ championships, and Pininfarina’s design expertise that will allow us to develop stylish, extreme-performance, electric vehicles for global markets,” said Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra .

The investment will done via Mahindra Overseas Investment Company Mauritius Ltd, which will own 100% of the shares of the new venture.

Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA said the move will see the realization of his grandfather’s dream to have Pininfarina cars on the road.

“Automobili Pininfarina which represents an additional client for Pininfarina SpA, joining the list of the many prestigious car makers for which we will be designing cars in the future,” he added.

Anand Mahindra said his group is betting big on electric vehicles.

“They are the future, and when power, beauty and high end EV technology come together in one car — that will be the perfect luxury vehicle, that will give car lovers the freedom to roam without impacting the planet adversely.”

Automobili Pininfarina will be led by Michael Perschke as its Chief Executive Officer.

Michael is a 25 year-veteran of many German brands.

He was the Managing Director of Audi in India and a member of the Management Board of Volkswagen Group Sales India from 2010 to 2013.

He will be joined by Per Svantesson, who has worked at Volvo Group and NEVS, as Chief Operating Officer.

“Establishing Automobili Pininfarina as a leading sustainable luxury brand is our strategic vision and will be a dream come true,” said Perschke, CEO of the new venture.

“It will combine 88 years of iconic design heritage with leading edge electric vehicle competence of the Mahindra Group and Mahindra Formula E racing. It’s a powerful combination.”