Italdesign Giugiaro is due to make an announcement “in the next few days” with widespread speculation it is to be the subject of a takeover by Volkswagen.
The Italdesign Giugiaro Group – including subsidiary and associated companies – has over 45,000 sq m of production space and more than 1,100 employees and has five managerial groups that handle more than 30 operating divisions to give carmakers a comprehensive consulting service.
“All this makes the company able to perform the assignment of a complete programme – from definition of the style to pre-series [production] assistance – as well as… stylistic research, production engineering of body subgroups, building prototypes and experimental machining,” the company’s website says.
The design process is grouped into four macro areas: styling, engineering, prototyping and testing. The areas are autonomous but take a complementary approach to their work.
A unit called Giugiaro Design has worked with prominent Italian and international brands in several industrial sectors: cameras (Nikon), telephony systems (Telecom Italia, Swatch), household appliances (Merloni), electrotechnics (Siemens), information technology (Apple), watch-making (Seiko), interior design (Cinova, Del Tongo, Fiam), cosmetics (L’Oreal, Shiseido), television (Rai, Telepiù now Sky).
The company started in February 1968, under a different name, and an early assignment was to develop the Alfasud for Alfa Romeo. More recent designs for the brand include the Brera coupe.
VW is said to have been eyeing the Turin-based company with a view to expanding its design expertise as it looks to drive sales of up to 10m vehicles per year.
ItalDesign’s styling, engineering, prototyping and testing abilities, combined with a virtual reality centre to help with all of this, would appear to be a good acquisition – Italian styling flair and associated additional development facilities should blend well with a solid German engineering tradition.