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Italdesign founder retires

Grand designs: Italdesign founder Giorgetto Guigiaro's car design career started when he was just 17, carrying him though tenures at Bertone and Ghia.

Giorgetto Giugiaro sells remaining Italdesign share to Volkswagen Group


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7 Jul 2015

ITALDESIGN Giugiaro's founder and honorary president Giorgetto Giugiaro is calling it a day after 47 years in the job, handing over his remaining stake in the Italian design house to co-owner Volkswagen Group.

American publication Automotive News reports that the Volkswagen takeover also coincides with the resignation of Giorgetto's son Fabrizio Giugiaro from his position as vice president.

Volkswagen Group-owned Lamborghini acquired a 90.1 per cent share of Italdesign Giugiaro in 2010. With his resignation, the German car giant gains full ownership of the organisation.

According to a statement, Italdesign Giugiaro's future plans are unchanged by the departure of its founder, and the 800-strong company intends to hire 50 new employees before the end of the year, adding to the 200 new staff that have arrived since 2010.

Giugiaro's decision to step down from the board brings to a close a career that gave rise to some of the world's most iconic and recognisable vehicles, spanning 47 years at the Turin-based company.

Aged 77, the founder is hanging up the easel to dedicate more time to “passions and personal interests” and leaves the company he started in 1968 in the hands of managing director Enzo Pacella.

During his time at the helm, Mr Giugiaro accumulated seven honorary degrees, six Compasso d'Oro awards, three Car of the Year awards and two Golden Steering Wheels, while overseeing the design of many iconic vehicles.

Amongst the company's most famous vehicles are the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, 1972 Lotus Esprit, Alfa Romeo Alfasud, the original 1974 Volkswagen Golf and its sportier relative, the Scirocco.

The company has also worked on designs for more conventional vehicles – and was, on occasion responsible for more forgettable designs, including the 1978 FSO Polonez, 1985 Hyundai Excel and 1996 Daewoo Lanos.

In almost five decades, Italdesign has penned a broad portfolio of concept and show-cars for a diverse range of brands, as well as product and engineering designs in industrial and consumer industries.

Mr Giugiaro's decision to retire coincides with his sixtieth year in car design – a career that started out at rival Italian design house Bertone. During his tenure there he designed the infamous BMW M1 mid-engined supercar and has also spent time with stylist house Ghia.

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