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VW set to purchase Italy’s largest design and engineering firm

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VW set to purchase Italy’s largest design and engineering firm

05/19/2010, 9:22 AM BY DREW JOHNSON

Continuing its march to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018, Volkswagen is said to be close to signing off on a deal to buy Italy’s largest design and engineering firm, Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A.

According to Automotive News Europe, VW could announce its purchase of Italdesign by as early as next week. The purchase will greatly increase VW’s ability to bring new vehicles to market, which will be a key factor in the company’s 2018 goal. VW plans to launch 60 new or revised models this year, with that figure set to steadily rise until the end of the decade.

Established in 1968, Italdesign employs about 975 workers and contains 800 computer aided work stations. The company is headquartered in Moncalieri, a city about 10 miles south of Turin. Italdesign is still run by co-founder Giorgetto Giugiaro, with the design and model division headed by his son Fabrizio. Both men are expected to stay on after VW’s purchase.

Italdesign keeps most of its work confidential, but the Italian design and engineering firm has had a hand in vehicles like the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe, BMW’s second-generation MINI range and Audi 80.



VW to buy Italdesign Giugiaro, sources say

Luca Ciferri

Automotive News Europe -- May 19, 2010 10:00 CET

TURIN – Volkswagen AG will buy a controlling stake in Italy's largest design and engineering firm, Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A., two industry sources confirmed to Automotive News Europe.

One of the sources said that an announcement could come as early as next week. Italdesign and VW representatives declined to comment.

The move is consistent with VW's plan to be the world's largest automaker by 2018 with sales of 10 million vehicles a year. To reach that goal, VW's 10-brand group, including Porsche, will need more designers and engineers. In 2010 alone, VW group plans to add 60 models, including upgrades.

Italdesign, co-founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1968, currently has 975 employees and 800 computer aided design workstations. Most of the workers and equipment are based at the company's headquarters in Moncalieri, 15km south of Turin.

Italdesign is a private company entirely owned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, 71, who serves as chairman, and his son Fabrizio, 45, who heads the design and model division.

Both executives are expected to continue working at the company following the VW takeover.

Italdesign does not disclose its financial results. The most recent data available shows that in 2008 the company increased its revenues 6.2 percent to 136 million euros ($166 million) and reported an operating breakeven.

Engineering work stays confidential

Recent models designed by Italdesign include the Alfa Romeo 159 sedan and station wagon, Brera coupe; Fiat Grande Punto and Idea; Suzuki SX4 and its Fiat Sedici sister model.

Italdesign's design work is often made public by its automaker clients, but its engineering work typically remains confidential.

In the past five years, the only engineering task that Italdesign was allowed to take public credit for was engineering the model range of BMW's second-generation Mini -- a hatchback, convertible and the Clubman station wagon.

Previous engineering works include the Citroen C3 Pluriel small convertible car and variants of the past-generation Renault Megane compact.

For VW, Italdesign styled the first-generation Golf, Audi 80, VW Passat and Scirocco; the entire family of VW's W12 sports car concepts, plus several Seat models and concept models for the rebirth of the Bugatti brand under VW.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100519/ANE/100519830/1193#ixzz0oNix7amT

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