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by Tim Beissmann

The man responsible for creating the Ferrari Daytona and 288 GTO has been hired to design the next generation of vehicles for China’s Beijing Automotive group (BAIC) to make the brand competitive in the global marketplace.

Former-Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti, 74, told Bloomberg that BAIC has an ambition to make world-class cars by the middle of next decade.

“Chinese manufacturers recognise that they have some problems that they have to improve, one of which is the lack of brand identity,” Fioravanti said.

“The first that achieves its own recognisable brand identity and styling language will be the winner.”

International brands like General Motors and Volkswagen continue to grow in China with their global vehicle designs while domestic car makers lose ground with traditional function-over-form offerings.

Bloomberg reports none of the top 10-selling passenger vehicles so far in 2012 belong to a native Chinese brand.

Fioravanti’s appointment makes BAIC the latest in a string of Chinese brands to introduce European designers to reshape their aesthetic futures.

BMW’s Chinese partner Brilliance appointed Pininfarina’s Dimitri Vicedomini to lead its design team, former-Mercedes-Benz stylist Andreas Deufel is now design director at Great Wall, and Gert Hildebrand from Mini was recruited by Qoros Auto, which is part-owned by Chery.

Note: BAIC C90L image courtesy China Car Times.




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