TURIN – Life is about to get more challenging for Volkswagen Group designers. For their future creations to go from pen to production model they will have to be better than the man who is considered by many to be the best car designer of the 20th century.
“I think that competing against a true living legend of automotive design such as Giorgetto Giugiaro is a fantastic challenge for any VW group designer,” VW Group Design Director Walter de' Silva said Tuesday following the announcement that VW had taken a 90 percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A., Italy's most powerful design and engineering firm.
Giorgetto Giugiaro, 71, who was named car designer of the 20th century by an international jury in 1999, and his son, Fabrizio, 45, will retain 10 percent and continue to work at the 42-year-old company that is famous for designing cars such as the first-generation Volkswagen Golf.
Italdesign, which is based outside of Turin, will become the fifth VW Group multibrand design center. There are three multibrand studios in Germany (Munich, Potsdam and Brunswick) and one in the United States (Santa Monica, California). These centers support – and compete against – each other as well as the individual design studios for Audi, Skoda, Seat, VW, Bentley, Lamborghini and the other four brands, including Porsche, that make up the VW Group.
De' Silva is in charge of all of VW Group's design operations.