Car design legend Giugiaro quits company he founded
Audi takes full control of firm
TURIN -- Legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, whose work includes the original Volkswagen Golf and first Fiat Panda, has resigned from Italdesign Giugiaro SpA, the styling and engineering company he founded in 1968.
The move comes roughly five years after Giugiaro, 76, sold a 90.1 percent stake in the company to Volkswagen Group subsidiary Audi, retaining a 9.9 percent stake for himself and his son, Fabrizio, 50. That stake was sold to Audi on June 28.
Giugiaro announced on Thursday in an emailed statement that he and Fabrizio resigned from the Italdesign Giugiaro board on June 29. Giorgetto Giugiaro also relinquished his position of honorary chairman, the statement added.
Italdesign Giugiaro issued a statement today saying Giorgetto Giugiaro leaves "to dedicate more time to his personal interests" adding that the change “won't influence” the development of the company, which is on a “growth path.” The statement said that by year-end the company will have hired 250 additional employees since the 2010 takeover.
When contacted by phone on Thursday for further comment Giorgetto Giugiaro said he had nothing to add.
Giorgetto Giugiaro's car design career started at Fiat when he was 17 years old. He worked at Turin-based coachbuilders Bertone and Ghia before starting his own company. What set Italdesign Giugiaro apart from rivals was that it provided design, engineering, prototyping and testing services to carmakers but it left the manufacturing to the customer. During his nearly 60 years as a professional designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has penned about 100 production cars, including the first-generations of the Golf, Panda, Fiat Punto and Audi 80. He was also responsible for the looks of seminal sport cars such as the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT and Brera, De Tomaso Mangusta, Lotus Esprit, Maserati Ghibli and Bora.
In 2000 he was named Car Designer of the Century by the jury of the Car of the Century awards.
A year later he was one of 13 charter inductees in the European Automotive Hall of Fame in Geneva.