VW has almost 10 car brands under its wings and is planning to introduce a further 60 models (including multiple variants and facelifts) this year alone. Volkswagen is slowly building up its repertoire of technical knowledge and car brands in its bid to become the largest automaker by the year 2018. This in turn should reflect a sales figure of 10 million units a year. Thus to achieve that goal VW has to assimilate skills from already established companies.
It may be doing just that as according to Automotive News Europe, two confirmed sources have concurred on the rumour that Volkswagen will be buying a controlling stake in Italy’s largest design and engineering firm, Italdesign Giugiaro. Yes, this is the same ItalDesign Giugiaro that is working with Proton on the next generation Proton Persona replacement as well as the Proton EMAS range extender electric vehicle.
Funny how things work out the way they are – Proton was first in talks on working with Volkswagen, then they ended up working with Giugiaro, but now Volkswagen is rumoured to be buying over Giugiaro. This is supposed to be impending news so you can expect an announcement as early as next week if it really happens. Both Italdesign and VW have refused to comment on the matter.
Italdesign was co-founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1968 and is owned by him while his son Fabrizio is the design and model head. The company has 975 employees and 800 computer aided design workstations in its Moncalieri head quarters. The company known for its world class design, have been involved with the design of cars such as the Alfa Romeo 159, the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe, the Fiat Grande Punto , the Suzuki SX4 and of course the new Proton Persona replacement and the concept Proton EMAS.
As the company doesn’t disclose its figures (it is a private company) there are no official stats on how well the company does. The latest data, which was from 2008, stated that the company’s revenues increased by 6.2 percent to 136 million Euros which broke even.
The Italian firm’s design work is a selling point for most car manufactures and is always advertised by their respective client. Engineering tasks have often been kept confidential and the only credit they were allowed to take was for the second-generation R56 Mini hatchback as well as its convertible and Clubman wagon counterparts.