Volkswagen Golf Mk1Enlarge Photo
Italdesign-Giugiaro, based in Turin, is one of the most legendary automotive design houses in Italy and the company behind such icons as the original Volkswagen Golf, Audi 80, Lancia Delta and even the Hyundai Pony. The design house has had close links with Volkswagen since its founding back in 1968 but now relations between have got a whole lot closer.
The Volkswagen Group will take a 90.1 percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro, including the brand name rights and patents. Under the deal, the shares are being acquired by Audi’s Italian subsidiary Lamborghini. The remaining shares will stay in the possession of the present owner family Giugiaro.
Volkswagen has ambitious plans to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018 and to do so it will be launching a score of new models each year. In fact, Volkswagen will launch 60 new or updated models this year alone. This will put massive strain on the automaker’s current design capacity so the easiest way to expand this would be to buy into an actual design house.
For years Italdesign Giugiaro had remained a private entity under the ownership of co-founder Giorgetto Giugiaro. It currently employs 975 staff and is based in a single office just south of Turin. Giugiaro himself has an even longer history in the industry than his firm, having worked for Fiat, Bertone and Ghia between 1955 and Italdesign's startup in 1968. His designs have found their way onto the platforms of Alfa Romeos, BMWs, Maseratis, De Tomasos and even the Bizzarini GT Strada, among many others. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of his talents in future V-dubs and other models within the Volkswagen empire.