TURIN -- Design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro will not be quitting the car business despite selling the remaining part of his styling and engineering company to Volkswagen Group’s Audi division.
"I don’t feel old enough to retire," said Giugiaro, who turned 77 last month. "I will continue to do the only thing I'm good at -- designing cars."
Giugiaro is striking out alone after he severed connections with VW Group following the ouster of the German’s automaker’s patriarch Ferdinand Piech. The two men became friends after Piech worked at Italdesign in 1972 to learn about design and engineering.
Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio in June sold to Audi the 9.9 percent stake they had retained in Italdesign after Audi bought a 90.1 percent share in Italdesign five years ago.
Giugiaro declined to comment on whether the move was connected with Piech’s resignation as VW chairman in April. Piech was the architect of the deal for Audi to buy a controlling stake in Italdesign.
Earlier his month the Giugiaros thanked Piech in a full page advertisement in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere Della Sera.
The Giugiaros are considering work offers from Chinese and South Korean automakers, Fabrizio, 50, said. He declined to name the companies. “It is too soon to elaborate,” he said.
Fabrizio had served as Italdesign design chief from 1990 until 2014 when former Audi design chief Wolfgang Egger replaced him.
The Giugiaros are looking for a green field site or an existing facility to start a new design and modeling company.
Fabrizio said that his father, being a perfectionist, favors a state-of-the-art facility built from scratch. Fabrizio is pragmatic and believes the most efficient solution would be to refurbish an existing complex to avoid becoming mired in Italian bureaucracy.
“We are just at the beginning of our talks so it is really premature to say something more but we will definitely come back to the car design business,” Fabrizio said.