MILAN (Reuters) -- Chinese state auto group Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC) has deepened its ties with Leonardo Fioravanti, hiring the Italian designer of a string of Ferrari sports cars as a consultant.
"BAIC has asked Fioravanti to personally supervise projects, as a consultant, including one advising BAIC on building its own brand," Luca Fioravanti, an executive at the family-held design house, said on Thursday.
The move highlights increasingly close links between Asian carmakers and Italian car designers.
Fioravanti has formed a partnership with Shanghai-based design and engineering consultancy Eastone.
BAIC will unveil the C80K concept sedan designed by Fioravanti and Eastone at the Beijing auto show on Monday.
The concept hints at a potential competitor to the long-wheelbase versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E class, which currently dominate the luxury-car segment in China.
Chinese car manufacturers such as BAIC, Chery, Brilliance and First Auto Works displayed Italy-designed concept cars at last year's Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, and the trend will likely be in evidence again at the 2012 show.
BAIC is set to roll out its own brand this year, based on Saab technology, its chairman said on Tuesday.
Turin-based car designers Pininfarina, Torino Design, and Fioravanti said they will all be at the Beijing show with concept cars or talking to clients.
Fioravanti is based outside of Turin and has a client list that includes Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Peugeot, Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai and General Motors.
Luca Ciferri contributed to this report