Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man behind countless beauties, has sold his remaining shares of the company bearing his name to majority shareholder Audi.
INFLUENTIAL automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has announced his retirement by selling his 9.9 percent remaining share of the company he started in 1968 – Italdesign – to Audi AG.
Effective from June 28, the Italian-based coachbuilding firm is now 100 percent owned by the Volkswagen Group, which acquired 90.1 percent control from Giugiaro in August 2010.
In a statement released by Italdesign, the 76 year-old designer has resigned from his role as Honorary President at Italdesign Giugiaro, “…to dedicate more time to his passions and personal interests.”
Some 200 new employees have been added to Italdesign’s payroll since the Germans stepped in five years ago, with another 50 earmarked to be hired before the end of 2015. Among a host of industrial enterprises, the Moncalieri, Italy-based company also designs and engineers time pieces, furniture, buses and trains, farming equipment, coffee machines, photography equipment, clothing and sporting equipment.
His relationship with the Wolfsburg brand was solidified in the early 1970s when former Volkswagen AG chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, trained at the Italian design house, which Giugiaro and business partner Aldo Mantovani started four years earlier as Studi Italiani Realizzazione Prototipi S.p.A.
Starting his career in 1955, Giugiaro has designed or help create over 200 cars, with some of them – including the original Alfa Romeo Alfasud and Alfetta GT, Audi 80, BMW M1, Daewoo Matiz, Fiat Panda, Punto, and Uno, Lotus Esprit, Maserati Bora, Suzuki SX4, Volkswagen Golf, and Volkswagen Passat – becoming landmark models.
He was also partly responsible for several less successful (or well received) models – including the infamous 1980 Morris Marina-based Ital that bared the company’s name, 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, 1985 Holden RB Gemini, 1986 Holden Piazza, 1988 Renault 19, and the 1991 Subaru SVX.
Turning 77 on August 7, Giugiaro was awarded “Car Designer of the Century” in 1999, and was inducted in the Automotive Hall of Fame three years later.
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