After a conflict over strategy has made it impossible for Pininfarina and Vincent Bollore to push through with their electric car joint venture, Pininfarina has secured the right to sell its 50% stake. If the partnership had prospered, the first batch of electric cars would have arrived this autumn.
In Pininfarina’s earnings statement last Friday, the Italian car designer revealed that the project stalled early this year because of a disagreement on strategic objectives amid diverging policies for electric car subsidies in France and Italy.
For this issue to be resolved, the two companies agreed to an option for Pininfarina to sell its entire stake in the project between March 1, 2011 and March 15, 2013 for 10 million euros ($13.64 million), equal to book value.
Under this agreement, if Pininfarina chose not to exercise its put option, Bollore will get the right to purchase Pininfarina's stake in the venture in case of a strategy deadlock (for 10 million euros too).
If Bollore becomes the majority owner of the electric car company, Pininfarina would still have the right to provide cars for the group. At the Geneva auto show last March, Pininfarina CEO Silvio Angori shared that he expected to deliver 2,000 of the Bluecar electric cars in 2011.
Many major carmakers have invested in the development of electric cars. This includes PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Nissan. Last Thursday, Toyota said that it plans to sell compact electric cars in Japan in 2012. [via autonews - sub. required]