Volkswagen Plans Buying Italdesign Giugiaro

Volkswagen is planning to buy a controlling stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A., Italy’s largest design and engineering firm, according to two industry sources quoted by the Automotive News Europe.

An announcement could be made as early as next week, one source said. However, Volkswagen and Italdesign representatives declined to comment on the rumors.

Volkswagen plans to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018, with sales of 10 million vehicles a year and in order to achieve this ambitious goal it needs more designers and engineers. In 2010 alone, Volkswagen’s nine brands will bring 60 new models on the market, including updates.

Co-founded by the famous designer Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1968, Italdesign currently employs 975 people and has 800 computer aided design workstations. Most of the workers and equipment are based at the company’s headquarters in Moncalieri, 10 miles south of Italy’s industrial capital Turin.

Italdesign is owned entirely by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio. The former acts as the chairman, with the latter heading the design and model division. If Volkswagen’s plan of taking over the company succeeds, both Giugiaros are expected to continue working at Italdesign.

The privately owned design and engineering company did not publish its financial results for 2009. The most recent data available shows that in 2008 the company had a 6.2 percent revenue increase to a total of 136 million euros ($166 million) and reported an operating break even.

Over the years, Italdesign Giugiaro has designed a series of automobiles for the Volkswagen Group, including the iconic VW Golf Mk1, the Scirocco Mk1, the Passat Mk1, the Audis 80 and 100, the 1991 Seat Toledo and the 1993 Seat Ibiza.
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