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Legendary Italian design firm Italdesign Giugiaro will sell a 90 percent stake to the Volkswagen Group, as the German firm looks to consolidate even more power in the automotive world.
“The Volkswagen Group will be continuing its model initiative over the coming years and will benefit from the capacity and competence of Italdesign,” said Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, in a statement released to the media. Italdesign’s patriarch, Giorgetto Giugiaro helped design the first generation Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen’s most important product, along with the original Beetle.
For his part, Giugario felt that the move was necessary to ensure the survivability of his studio. “We have grown from a small studio to a substantial industrial organization which is able to deal with global automakers. There are times when individual egoism has to step back to ensure the future sustainability of jobs.” The price paid by VW for the firm was not disclosed to the media.
[Source: Automotive News]
Volkswagen will purchase a controlling share in Italdesign Giugiaro – Italy’s largest design and engineering firm. The acquisition is seen as the latest step by Volkswagen as part of a larger plan to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018. With the recent acquisition of numerous brands, including, most recently, Porsche, VW is in need of designers to shape the company’s future products.
According to a report by Automotive New Europe, VW will introduce as many as 60 new models in just this year, meaning the in-house design teams are already taxed. Rather than contract out design work, VW obviously feels it makes more sense to bring an internationally recognized design house into its fold. Some of Italdesign Giugiaro’s best known designs are the original Lotus Esprit, the De Lorean, the Maserati Quattroporte, the original Lexus GS, the original VW Scirocco, the current range of MINI models and numerous well-known concepts.
Founded in 1968 and owned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, Italdesign currently employees 975 staff – most at its headquarters in Moncalieri, south of Turin. Both Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio, who acts as chairman, are expected to continue on with the company.
The official announcement of the acquisition is expected as early as next week.
[Source: Automotive News]
See a complete list of Italdesign Giugiaro’s works after the jump: