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Ferrari to enter new design era under Manzoni

Red-blooded: Ferrari design will now be overseen by Volkswagen's former chief stylist.

New design director for Ferrari as Prancing Horse's styling chief defects to Lotus

Ferrari logo18 Jan 2010


FERRARI has confirmed that it has hired former Volkswagen senior designer Flavio Manzoni as its new design director.

News of the appointment has been on the rumour mill since last September, although it took until last week for it to receive official confirmation.

In a statement, Ferrari said the Italian-born Mr Manzoni will report directly to Ferrari chief executive Amedeo Felisa and will be responsible for “creating and defining the styling of Ferrari’s new cars” – a role which could mean little more than managing relations with Pininfarina, or which could see the introduction of other design houses or a significant shift in-house.

 center imageTop: Flavio Manzoni and Donato Coco (bottom).

His predecessor, Donato Coco, was appointed director of design for Lotus in December, working for former Ferrari senior vice-president (and now Lotus CEO) Dany Bahar.

Mr Manzoni, 45, holds a degree in architecture with a specialisation in industrial design. He began his automotive design career with Lancia in 1993 and went on to work with Seat in Barcelona before returning to Lancia in 1996 as chief of its styling centre.

He later became responsible for the Fiat, Lancia and Fiat LCV design centres, and then returned to the Volkswagen Group in 2006. In February 2007 he was appointed group director of creative design.

Former Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota told the New York Times last week: “Everyone is curious as to how Ferrari’s relationship will evolve with Pininfarina. Manzoni – a passionate, cultured, hands-on designer – will certainly want to put his own personal stamp on Ferrari design.

“There has been ever-increasing collaboration between Pininfarina and Ferrari’s own design team in recent years, and his appointment leads one to believe that the relationship will evolve further still.

“The result might be head-to-head competition for new designs, or in an even greater and more drastic strategic change, to Ferrari designing everything internally.

“(But I) would be shocked if Pininfarina were to be completely phased out given their storied success as Ferrari’s personal tailor.”

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