Since Volkwagen AG now has a 90% stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A., its customers might be worried that VW will be able to gain access to their confidential technology. These customers, which include BMW AG, Proton and Hybrid Kinetic Motors Corp., may decide to go somewhere else but Chairman Giorgetto Giugiaro has given assurances of "100% secrecy."
Giugiaro said that in the future, Italdesign, Italy's largest automotive design and engineering company, will work only for the VW Group but that it will complete all the ongoing projects for other carmakers.
Last Tuesday, a BMW spokesman said that it will continue with its contract with Italdesign, which has worked on the BMW-owned Mini's Roadster and Coupe models.
Enzo Pacella, Italdesign CEO, said that the company will work on the Mini derivatives for one more year. Last January, Italdesign signed a 375 million euro ($462 million) multi-year deal to provide complete design and engineering for Hybrid Kinetic Motors' eight new models.
Italdesign also still has a current contract with Proton to design the production version of the Emas minicar concept that was introduced at the Geneva show last March.
China's Brilliance China Automotive and Chery Automobile are two of Italdesign's customers that are likely to be affected by the VW deal since both compete against VW's joint venture partners in China: FAW Group Corp. and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.