Volkswagen Buys Majority Stake in Italdesign Giugiaro

The Volkswagen Group has bought a 90.1-percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. The new partnership between the German automaker and the storied Italian design works will see Italdesign taking on a bigger role in styling future Volkswagen products, beginning with the forthcoming Volkswagen Up!

Founded in 1968 in Turin, Italdesign has a long history of creating futuristic concepts and groundbreaking production cars. The company’s production-car legacy includes classics like the original Lotus Esprit, Lancia Delta, DMC DeLorean, Maserati Quattroporte, and Lamborghini Gallardo, and more ordinary cars like the Saab 9000, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru SVX, Lexus GS300, and Fiat Punto. The company also designs commercial trucks, tractors, and forklifts.

VW and Italdesign first hooked up in the 1970s, when the latter penned the Golf I, Passat, Scirocco, and (later) the Audi 80. Since then, Italdesign has created dozens of concept and production designs for VW as well as subsidiaries like SEAT and Lamborghini. Buying a large stake in the company likely gives VW a bigger say in new styling projects and keeps the Italian group from courting other manufacturers.

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