Zagato Centrostile, the 80-year-old Italian styling house, is expanding into North and South America.
Zagato has formed an alliance with the Rivolta Group in Sarasota, Florida, and the partners have opened a design center in Brazil. Rivolta-Zagato said it will offer design and engineering services from concept stage to mock-ups and prototypes for automotive, marine and industrial projects.
'Zagato offers unique Italian heritage and styling - and a culture that is a great distance from everything going on in Detroit,' said a spokesman.
Milan-based Zagato is best known for designing sports cars in the 1960s - such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ - as well as the body kit for the Aston Martin DB4, which turned the sports car into the Vantage Zagato. At this year's Geneva auto show it displayed a coupe called the Zuma based on the Golf/Audi A3 platform.
The business is run by Andrea Zagato and his wife Marella Rivolta-Zagato.
Last year, the Volkswagen Group rejected Zagato's design proposal for the new Lamborghini Super-Diablo, which had been penned before the sale of Lamborghini to VW.
Rivolta's reputation was also built up during the 1960s and '70s, when
it made sports cars with American V-8s, such as the Iso Grifo and Rivolta GT.
It currently has a partnership for electric car research with the University of South Florida. It is run by Piero Rivolta, whose father was a pioneer of micro cars in Europe such as the Isetta.