• May 25th 2010 at 1:27PM
  • 26
1970 Volkswagen Porsche Tapiro Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember those rumors that Volkswagen was poised to purchase Italdesign Giugiaro? Well, they're rumors no more, as the two storied firms have just announced that it's a done deal. The German automaker will acquire a 90-percent stake in the design house, and the Giugiaro family, which currently owns the company outright, will retain the remaining 10 percent.

It is currently assumed that Volkswagen will keep the 975 employees at Italdesign, adding them to its own design department. Reports indicate that VW will also retain the services of the elder Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son, Fabrizio, who currently serves as the company design head. For what it's worth, the Italian design house styled some of VW's most successful and iconic models, including the original Golf (or Rabbit, depending on your country of birth) and Scirocco.

Hit the jump for the official joint press release, and be sure to check out some of the best collaborations between the two companies in our high-res image gallery below.

[Source: Italdesign]
Show full PR text
Volkswagen Group takes majority shareholding in Italdesign Giugiaro
  • Volkswagen takes 90.1 percent stake in internationally renowned design and development services company
  • Expansion of capacity and competence for global model initiative
  • Volkswagen Board of Management Chairman Winterkorn: "New era in strategic partnership between these two companies"
Wolfsburg/Turin, May 25, 2010 – The Volkswagen Group and Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. (IDG), Turin, are to intensify their successful cooperation, putting it on a new footing. This was announced by both companies at a joint press conference in Turin on Tuesday. The Volkswagen Group will take a 90.1 percent stake in IDG, including the brand name rights and patents. The shares are being acquired by AUDI's Italian subsidiary Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. The remaining shares will stay in the possession of the present owner family Giugiaro.

"With this shareholding in Italdesign, we are participating in one of the most renowned design and development companies with one of the richest traditions in the automobile industry. Italdesign is the flagship for creative Italian automobile design and has been instrumental in shaping the face of the automobile industry worldwide. As the creator of the Golf I, Giorgetto Giugiaro laid a new foundation for Volkswagen design in the 1970s," Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented in Turin.

The Volkswagen Group has enjoyed successful cooperation with IDG for many decades. Giugiaro made a name for himself not only with the Golf I, but also with concepts for important models such as the first Volkswagen Passat, Scirocco or the Audi 80. A comprehensive development framework agreement was concluded in 2008. Volkswagen and IDG are also collaborating closely on ongoing projects such as the planned Volkswagen Up! model family. Implementation of the agreement is also subject to the standard approval by the relevant authorities.

"A new era in the strategic partnership between our companies begins today. Italdesign becomes a permanent member of the global Volkswagen family," Winterkorn said. "The Volkswagen Group will be continuing its model initiative over the coming years and will benefit from the capacity and competence of Italdesign. The company will therefore be making an important contribution to our 2018 global growth strategy," Winterkorn continued.

IDG was founded in Turin by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani in 1968. Both founders are considered pioneers of modern Italian automobile design. Italdesign has also acquired a reputation worldwide as a highly-competent development center. Today, the company generates sales of over €100 million and has a workforce of some 800 employees.

"Every drop becomes the sea when it flows oceanward. In the last few days I ran into this sentence while I was reading Sophie`s World by the Norwegian novelist Jostein Gaardner. We are the drop. Becoming part of the Volkswagen Group means revaluating ourselves and our strength. Entering Volkswagen means to open up a promising perspective for the company," Giorgetto Giugiaro said.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      This makes me very very sad because it means Italdesign won't be designing for any other firms. I hate the concept of mega companies swallowing everything up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, now VW wants to take a credit in the Porsche 914 Tapiro concept?

      An ItalDesign body, on a Porsche drivetrain, a one-off concept on a base car from a joint project that VW backed out on, and left Porsche holding the bag, to try and sell.

      The Porsche drivetrain didn't harm the 914's appeal, the VW body design did. If it had been styled more like the Tapiro concept, the line would probably be nearly as long as the 911 line itself, and there wouldn't have been a decade and a half between the 914 and the Boxster.

      I certainly hope that the VW stake in ID lets ID keep designing cars the way Guigiaro has mastered, and then actually makes them available for sale. Just turning ID into the VW styling studio would not do it justice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      awesome, now, start making stuff look better. A6, Passat, Jetta, Beetle, I'm looking at you!
        • 5 Years Ago
        dude, the a6 rocks though i love the previous a6 more, but you have to buy new head and taillights when you buy a used one.

        the taillights on the prevous a6 are gorgious.

        but ofcourse the 3.0di is better then the 2.5, but both sound marvelous.
        the 180hp quatro ofcourse.

      • 5 Years Ago
      how much $$?
      it is funny how much of what we perceive as iconic "German"design, was actually penned by Italians.
      • 5 Years Ago
      you can't polish a turd
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, that sounds quite unfortunate, and unacceptable.

        My brother has a few-year-old beetle turbo, which he seems to like, other than the difficulty of performing service on the engine belts and such.

        I don't have first hand experience of owning a VW... but that isn't encouraging.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Mythbusters beg to differ :)

        • 5 Years Ago
        oh forget about servicing them yourselves either. My dad used to hate my vw's specifically my '92's as that was in the High School/College days and he just used to curse at how absolutely bad "German engineering" is when he'd be helping me with stuffs pertaining to fixing my often broken VW.

        My mom had a VW Rabbit back when I was a toddler and that caught fire when I was in the backseat....I remember the car being on fire. Yellow Rabbit I won't ever forget =)

        oh and since I mentioned "German"

        In case Justin Beiber is reading this comment, Germany is a country over in Europe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Out of curiousity... what exactly are you referring to?

        If it is the car, frankly, I think that sleek, aerodynamic, mid-engined, air-cooled, porsche powered car is quite a nice little sports car. I wish I had a car like that, that looked better than the stock Porsche 914.

        And wholly better looking than the 914's VW/Karmann-designed exterior bodywork.

        please feel free to explain what you mean.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm referring to VW in general. I've had 2 '92 vws, both a Jetta and a Golf, a '95 VR6 Jetta and last but not least an '03 TDI Golf. I used to LOVE vw's but that TDI was just beyond terrible. I sold it a few years back when it had 23k miles on it. I took it to the dealership literally 5 times before I gave up on them. They couldn't' even fix the windshield wiper fluid that was leaking in through the air vents from day one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Germans teaming up with Italians?

      This isn't going to turn out good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's the missed the joke guy.. nice to see you stop by.
      • 5 Years Ago
      End of naive, sterile and boring design of the VW group cars?
        • 5 Years Ago
        compared to almost everything in Europe... minus Audi
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, everything else... umm right. Your design specificity is spot-on!
        • 5 Years Ago
        VW is going to need some great designers for their Bentley group because the new Mercedes CLS is absolutely sensational.
        VW needs to seriously up the ante or Benz will squash their Bentley effort.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As compared to...
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should do an ad campaign to announce this: "Not since Hitler and Mussolini...."
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's the explain the joke guy. Nice to see you, too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good move by VW, but if they aren't allowed to design for other brands it's kind of a loss for the auto industry.
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