It’s being reported that Volkswagen are planning to take a majority stake in Italian Design Studio Italdesign, owned by Giorgetto Giugiaro
It’s probably a fair bet – or at least was and has been for some time – that Volkswagen would be in the frame to buy an motoring asset that comes on the market. Especially if that asset is in trouble and an iconic name can be grabbed for a song – or less.
Which explains why the names of VW and Giugiaro’s Italdesign are being linked together as the Italian designer appears to seek a car maker to rescue it from the woes of being an independent in these rather troubled times.
Italdesign is actually a bit of a ‘Johnny Come Lately’ compared to other high-profile designer studios like Pininfarina, Zagato and Bertone, having been founded in the late ’60s by Giorgetto Giugiaro – who still runs the firm with son Fabrizio – after a period of time with bothe Bertone and Ghia (long since gobbled up by Ford).
Italdesign in the guise of Giugiaro has been responsible for some iconic designs, such as the BMW M1, umpteen Maseratis including the Bora and Ghibli, a couple of Ferraris, a smattering of Lamborghinis and even the De Lorean, not to mention a Nikon camera or three.
But the bread and butter was work for mass-produced cars, including a number of VWs, including the Golf and Scirocco. Which may explain VW’s interest – if the rumours are true.
But they may just be rumours if VW boss Martin Winterkorn is to be believed. Speaking in December soon after VW snapped up the failed coachbuilding firm of Karmann he said that VW was ending its acquisitions and would grow organically in future. Mind you, he did say ‘For now’. Perhaps ‘Now’ has gone?
So I guess we’ll see as this unfolds. And for those of a certain age – and the Top Gear crew – we couldn’t resist using a photo of the car that most of us in the UK over 40 sadly associate with Italdesign – the Morris Ital.
Which for those too young to remember is the facelifted Morris Marina.