Pininfarina was riding a Vespa scooter which was hit by a Ford Fiesta on the outskirts of Turin this morning. He was 51.
The company designed sports cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Volvo and Fiat.
Pininfarina was leading the design house's attempt to restructure and return to profit after posting a loss of £91 million last year. The company was expected to sell £79 million worth of shares to existing investors like Vincent Bollore, the French billionaire, as well as Tata Motors to help turn the company around.
However, analysts are already speculating that the company could be sold in the wake of Pininfarina's death.