Struggling Pininfarina looks for new partners
Italian coachbuilder reports big loss
Pininfarina's net loss increased in the first nine months to 39.1 million euros from 16.3 million euros in the same period last year.
The company is preparing a new industrial and financial plan with the help of Roland Berger as automotive consultants and with Rothschild as its financial advisors.
Pininfarina's board of directors yesterday approved guidelines for the plan, which aims to turn around Italy's largest contract manufacturer and design house. The company said the plan should be completed by February.
The guidelines include searching for new partners in its contract manufacturing activities. This would to reduce Pininfarina's and its shareholders' financial risks in the volatile contract manufacturing business.
The new partnerships would be similar to the Pininfarina Sverige AB joint venture that the company has with Volvo to build the Volvo C70 coupe-cabriolet.
Market surveys have shown that Pininfarina's most important asset is its brand value. The plan will aim to exploit more fully the company's reputation for developing and making high quality and innovative products.
Some analysts believe the plan will not achieve a turnaround at the struggling coachbuilder.
A financial analyst told Automotive News Europe: "Pininfarina's situation continues to worsen. The guidelines of the industrial and financial plan announced today are too vague to evaluate any potential positive effect."
Pininfarina said it will report its third consecutive net loss this year. Last year, the company lost 21.9 million euros. In 2005, its net loss was 8.1 million eruos.
Pininfarina builds the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe and Spider, the Ford Focus coupe-cabriolet and Mitsubishi Colt CZC.
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