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.
- 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"
"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.