VW Announces Strategic Partnership
WOLFSBURG, Germany, and TURIN, Italy — In what appears to be a growing trend as the industry evolves, another automaker announced it is more closely teaming up with another industry player to help bolster its global footprint.
Volkswagen announced Tuesday it is expecting to take a 90.1-percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro (IDG), including the brand name rights and patents. The automaker mentioned the shares are being acquired through Audi's Italian subsidiary Lamborghini Holding, while the remaining shares are to remain with the Giugiaro family.
Officials emphasized that implementation of the agreement is subject to the standard approval by relevant authorities.
VW has enjoyed successful cooperative efforts with IDG for many decades. Executives pointed out that Giugiaro gained notoriety with the design of the VW Golf, but also contributed key concepts to the Volkswagen Passat, Scirocco and the Audi 80.
"With this shareholding in Italdesign, we are participating in one of the most renowned design and development companies with one of the richest traditions in the automobile industry," stated Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management at Volkswagen.
"Italdesign is the flagship for creative Italian automobile design and has been instrumental in shaping the face of the automobile industry worldwide. As the creator of the Golf I, Giorgetto Giugiaro laid a new foundation for Volkswagen design in the 1970s," Winterkorn continued.
IDG was founded in Turin by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani in 1968. Today, the company generates sales of more than 100 million Euros and has a work force of 800 employees.
"Every drop becomes the sea when it flows oceanward," Giugiaro remarked during a press conference on Tuesday. "In the last few days, I ran into this sentence while I was reading Sophie`s World by the Norwegian novelist Jostein Gaardner. We are the drop.
"Becoming part of the Volkswagen Group means revaluating ourselves and our strength. Entering Volkswagen means to open up a promising perspective for the company," Giugiaro declared.
Winterkorn also elaborated on how important this planned acquisition is to the automaker's overall growth strategy.
"A new era in the strategic partnership between our companies begins today. Italdesign becomes a permanent member of the global Volkswagen family," Winterkorn insisted.
"The Volkswagen Group will be continuing its model initiative over the coming years and will benefit from the capacity and competence of Italdesign," he added. "The company will therefore be making an important contribution to our 2018 global growth strategy."