Thursday, January 14, 2010

From Volkswagen to Ferrari?

The new Design Chief at the super-sports car Italian firm Ferrari is coming from designing for Volkswagen.

Ferrari named Flavio Manzoni (right) as the new chief of design even though he last served as the head of creative design of the Volkswagen Group. Mr. Manzoni, 45, will report directly to Ferrari’s chief executive, Amedeo Felisa, “and will be responsible for creating and defining the styling of Ferrari’s new cars.”

Until now, Pininfarina, the illustrious Italian company, had the responsibility of designing Ferraris. In the 1950s, the name Pininfarina on the body of a Ferrari was as important as the Ferrari name. Until now the design houses like Pininfarina were as prestigious as the manufacturers for which they designed. Manzoni ’s appointment raises the possibility that Ferrari may hire other designers or even create designs in-house.

Manzoni was born in Sardinia, Italy, was trained as an architect at the University of Florence and entered the automotive world in 1993 with Fiat. He worked at Lancia and then Seat, Volkswagen’s Spanish subsidiary. Following Walter de’Silva, the VW and Audi designer, Mr. Manzoni moved to Audi in 2006 and then later to VW, where he worked on the new Scirocco, Golf and Up concepts.

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