Pininfarina-Bollore EV Still Scheduled for 2011, Says CEO
By Brendan Moore
Pininfarina CEO Silvio Pietro Angori told reporters from Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore yesterday that the company has received over 6000 orders so far for the Bluecar, their joint effort electric vehicle (EV) with French company Bollore, the battery supplier.
There have been rumors that Bollore, led by French financier Vincent Bollore, was going to abandon the joint effort.
Angori refuted those rumors, saying that Pininfarina’s agreement with Bollore was solid, and that the only variable was whether or not Bollore would supply their battery technology to other automakers after the launch of the Bluecar, instead of supplying that technology only to Pininfarina. Angori stated that Pininfarina accepts that possibility, as it is allowed under their contract with Bollore, and added that Pininfarina is also allowed to design electric cars for other manufacturers under those same opt-out terms.
Il Sole 24 Ore had reported earlier that Bollore could pull all the financing for the joint effort if they do not approve subsequent investors in the Bluecar program.
Angori said that those reports are untrue and that Pininfarina would be entitled to keep manufacturing the Bluecar even if Bollore decided to exit the joint venture in the future, or, if Bollore decided to make their battery technology available to other automakers.
France recently announced state investment aid for electric vehicle manufacturers in-country, and Italy, where Pininfarina is located, has not followed suit, prompting speculation that Bollore might seek a French manufacturing partner for their EV effort.
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