Ex-Apple designer Jony Ive to help Ferrari make first electric car

Italian carmaker aims to unveil vehicle in 2025

Designer Sir Jony Ive is to help Ferrari make its first electric car. Getty Images
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Designer Sir Jony Ive is to help Ferrari make its first electric car.

It is his second major project since he resigned as Apple's chief design officer in 2019 to start independent firm LoveFrom.

LoveFrom will form a “long term, multi-year collaboration” with Ferrari's holding company Exor which could expand to other companies in the group's portfolio.

Among the big names on Ferrai's largest shareholder's books are carmaker Stellantis, which owns Fiat Chrysler, Citroën and Maserati; Juventus football club; and luxury fashion brands Christian Louboutin and Shang Xia.

Exor was started by Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli and is run by his grandson John Elkann.

Mr Elkann in April announced Ferrari's goal to launch a fully electric car in 2025. In June he showed he was serious about electric vehicles by appointing electronics specialist Benedetto Vigna as chief executive of "the Prancing Horse".

Ferrari's new $320,000 hybrid sports car, the 296 GTB, was unveiled in the same month.

Sir Jony Ive with his former boss, Apple CEO Tim Cook, in 2018 - one year before he left to form LoveFrom. Getty Images

Exor's partnership with LoveFrom, which Mr Ive runs with his long-term associate Marc Newson, will initially focus on Ferrari's electric car. But it will also involve the luxury Italian carmaker's high-fashion aspirations.

Mr Ive and Mr Newson said working with Exor presented some "uniquely exciting opportunities ... which we believe will yield important and valuable work".

The collaboration is LoveFrom's first since it announced a project with home rental site Airbnb last October. It will reunite Mr Ive with former Apple services chief Eddy Cue, a Ferrari board member.

The timing of the announcement is unfortunate for Mr Ive's former employer Apple. The Silicon Valley giant's own ambitions in the field of electric car making were dealt a major blow earlier this month when Ford poached its automotive lead Doug Field.

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Updated: September 28, 2021, 9:00 AM