Notorious for stealing body styles, the Chinese automotive industry is quickly becoming the definitive source for unabashed design plagiarism.
With a track record including obviously-bilked F-150 bodies and more recently a hodgepodge S11 supercar set to debut at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show, it’s hard to expect anything short of absolute banditry from some of China’s car companies.
That’s why it somes as a real surprise to learn that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) recently hired former Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti, albeit as a consultant.
Still, it’s an intriguing move that could signal the possibility of some interesting supercars coming from one of the world’s key economic powerhouses. To be fair, supercars aren’t particularly new for BAIC. In late 2010 the company put a bid in to buy Pininfarina, an Italian design firm known for designing Ferraris, among many others.
Two years later, as the Chinese economy booms further, it’s hardly outlandish to think it strange that BAIC is making such a move. Italian-designed cars are becoming a common theme among the ilk of BAIC including Beijing Automotive, Chery, Brilliance and First Auto Works.
Solidifying a relationship with a former Ferrari designer continues that theme and takes it in an exciting direction, even if he’s only working as a consultant. Fioravanti worked for 24 years with Pininfarina, so its reasonable to expect distinctly Ferrari-inspired influence in spades at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, BAIC included.