TURIN - Two of Italy's top design and engineering houses are finalizing major tie-up deals with European partners.
A majority interest in Turin's fourth largest independent design house, I.DE.A Institute, will be bought by Rieter Holding, based in Winterthur, Switzerland, for an undisclosed sum. And Italdesign-Giugiaro SpA and IDIADA SA of Spain have formally signed a 50-50 joint venture
I.DE.A Institute was the first independent company to offer design, engineering, development and prototype construction without production. It employs 270 people in six plants. Rieter's Automotive Systems unit develops and manufactures acoustic control and thermal insulation products and interior trim. It employs 11,260 people in 60 plants.
Italdesign's joint venture, based near Frankfurt, Germany, will be called IDIADA Giugiaro Automotive Technology. The new joint venture is expected to 'boost core activities,' said a spokesman.
IDIADA, based near Barcelona, has 250 employees and branches in South Korea and Germany. Italdesign has subsidiaries in Europe and the USA. Italdesign will gain access to IDIADA customers such as DaimlerChrysler and Ford. IDIADA will be brought into contact with Fiat Auto, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.