And so it happened: today cars are technically similar and close in price, the differences are in appearance. It is she who opens the way to the heart of the buyer.
The leadership of the Italian design houses Pininfarina, Italdesign, IDEA Institute and Bertone is undoubtedly the leaders in the development of style and design: they are distinguished by continuity and loyalty to the traditions of the Italian school. A special sixth sense allows you to subtly capture the trends of our time.
Independent design companies are involved in a serious struggle, in which competitors are independent studios and design centers of major automakers. Therefore, they have to deal not only with the concept and design of a car, but also with engineering, modeling, and Bertone even has an enterprise for mass production of up to 70, 000 cars a year, where they produce the Opel Astra Coupe and Cabrio. "Italizayn" - a company founded by the famous Giorgetto Giugiaro and not needing to be introduced, offers a package of services that includes all stages of engineering preparation plus a "free" design. This approach paves the way for competitors, who are also forced to invest in all stages - from designing and prototyping to testing prototypes. The one who is able to offer fresh ideas, faster and better execution and a name known all over the world survives.
The calling card of the Pininfarina design studio is Ferrari. Over 70 years of cooperation, only three models - the Ferrari Testarossa 520 in 1958, the GTO 250 in 1964 and the California were prepared independently; Enzo Ferrari completely relied on his stylist Pinin Farina in the development of all other models. Starting with Peugeot 403, Pininfarina acts not only as a stylist and consultant, but also as a partner of Peugeot. The latest development was the Peugeot 1007, shown at the Paris Motor Show as a joint achievement of the two companies. However, upon launching the sale, emphasis on the name of Pininfarin will not be made.
In developing countries, where associations with the Italian style can stimulate sales, the names of Italian designers are widely used for advertising. For example, GM India launched Daewoo Nubira as a Pininfarina concept with the goal of attracting customers, which would not have the same effect in Germany, where there is no such warm attitude towards the Italian idea. Marketing now defines almost everything in the relationship between a designer and a customer. According to Lorenzo Pininfarina, marketing is the killer of a designer. Accepting an order, the artist must act within the framework of the so-called brief (task) and abandon his own philosophy.
Nevertheless, such large independent companies as Italdesign and Pininfarina offer their own alternative vision of the future car, which may not coincide with the opinion of the customer. They are approached when a company needs a breakthrough or a fresh idea (Peugeot 1007 was entrusted to Pininfarina as a deliberate deviation from the usual Peugeot corporate design lines). In most cases, large automakers prefer to create the concept “at home” - in their own design centers. For example, Volkswagen.
The Ferrari and Maserati companies using the services of Pininfarina never held their own designers. Thus, it becomes profitable for independent ateliers to look for customers who have neither experience nor corresponding capabilities.
The interest of Italian design studios goes far beyond automotive topics. Pininfarina and Italdesign compete in the design of yachts, trains, mobile phones, coffee machines and bottles of mineral water. This expresses their approach not only as traders, but also artists. So, the fire of the Turin Olympics will be lit in 2006 in a torch stylized by Pininfarina.
Italian designers are still rather weakly represented on the Russian market, although Russian customers are also on the lists of independent design centers in Italy. Atelier Karcherano collaborates with AvtoVAZ and Izhmash, the Bertone group fulfills an order for computer design of RK Computers for Russia. IDEA Institution's Director of Trade with the Far Eastern Region, Brian Jones, considers Russia to be one of the unsaturated markets with huge development potential. But to conquer even part of it is not so simple. According to Jones, Russian firms are likely to pick up professional styling engineers and open their own design centers.