Styling icon Giorgetto Giugiaro quits, sells remaining stake to Audi

Article by Christian A., on July 7, 2015

Italdesign Giugiaro SpA is now fully owned by Volkswagen Group's Audi after car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has sold off his remaining 9.9 percent stake. It was five years ago that Giugiaro sold 90.1 percent of the stake for the styling and engineering company he built to Audi. The 76-year-old Giugiaro and his 50-year-old son Fabrizio only just recently sold the stake that was left to Audi on June 28.

In an e-mailed statement, Giugiaro and his son signified their resignation from the board. Giugiaro, who is famous for his work on the original Volkswagen Golf and first Fiat Panda, also gave up his role as honorary chairman. In the statement from Italdesign Giugiaro, Giorgetto Giugiaro is said to be leaving in order to allot more time for his “personal interests.”

It also stated that the company is now on a “growth path” and that the change will not affect its development. By the end of the year, the company is set to have taken on 250 more employees since the takeover in 2010. Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was inducted to the European Automotive Hall of Fame in Geneva in 2001, started his career in the auto industry at Fiat at only 17 years old.

He opened his own company in 1968 but before that, he was associated with coachbuilders Bertone and Ghia. Italdesign Giugiaro stood out from his rivals because he offered services like design, engineering, prototyping and testing services. However, the customer undertook the manufacturing.

He was a professional designer for almost 60 years and during this period, he designed around a hundred production cars, which include the first-generations of the Golf, Panda, Fiat Punto and Audi 80. He is also credited for the aesthetics of seminal sport cars, which include the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT and Brera, Lotus Esprit, De Tomaso Mangusta, Maserati Ghibli and Bora.

The agreement for the Volkswagen Group to acquire 90 percent of Italdesign was announced in March 2010. Under the agreement, Volkswagen will obtain the rights to the name and patents of Italdesign Giugiaro. The 90-percent stake at Italdesign was purchased by Lamborghini Holding S.p.A, which is the Italian subsidiary of Audi. Audi is a wholly owned unit of Volkswagen. At the time, all remaining shares were retained by the Giugiaro family.

Giorgetto Giugiaro is known for penning the Golf I, thereby starting the groundwork for the VW’s design during the 1970s. Giugiaro also created the concepts that became the Audi 80, the VW Scirocco, and the VW Passat.

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