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Mahindra to make Pininfarina high-end, EV-only brand

by Ronan Glon

Pininfarina has been trying to become a full-fledged standalone brand since 1930.

Pininfarina used to be one of the most illustrious design houses and coachbuilders in the world. Then it fell on hard times, losing billions of dollars and ultimately shutting down its auto-making division. It got bailed out by India-based Mahindra & Mahindra, and it's about to open a new chapter in its existence. Pininfarina will soon become a high-end, electric-only brand.

Going upmarket will hopefully let Mahindra compete in the same segment as Aston Martin's born-again Lagonda division, which previewed its take on luxury earlier this month at the Geneva Auto Show, and other big names like Rolls-Royce. If successful, the plan will be the fruit of a labor that began in 1930.

"My father's dream was to build a car company, and his father's dream was also to build a car company. Now, I plan for that dream to come true," company boss and family heir Paulo Pininfarina told Motor1 on the side-lines of the Geneva show. The HK GT concept shown during the event sheds insight into what its first model might look like. It's a luxurious, battery-powered four-seater that leaves behind tradition and focuses squarely on the future.

That's not all. Last year, Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra revealed plans for an electric supercar with a Pininfarina emblem. The model is still at the embryonic stage of development, but he strongly suggested the model will be sold in the United States. Don't expect either model to arrive before the turn of the decade, though.