► Giorgetto Giugiaro quits own company
► Takeover by VW Group now complete
► The end of an era for Turin design world
Doyen of the car styling world, Giorgetto Giugiaro, has resigned from his own design house he founded in 1968, marking the end of an era.
Giugiaro has been a major influence on the look of the modern automobile, responsible for everything from the 1974 VW Golf to the iconic first-generation Fiat Panda. But now his influence at Italdesign Giugiaro is no more, as he confirmed this week he and his son Fabrizio, 50, had stepped down.
Audi takes over at Italdesign Giugiaro
Giugiaro, who is now 76 years old, sold a 90.1% stake in his business to the Volkswagen Group in 2010. This week, it emerged, VW subsidiary Audi gobbled up the remaining 9.9%, owned by the father and son design maestros.
In a statement, the company confirmed Giorgetto Giugiaro had left to 'dedicate more time to his personal interests' and said he retained no position at Italdesign. The company is now a wholly owned subsidary of VW and has hired an extra 250 staff in the five years since it entered German ownership.
Giorgetto Giugiaro: the legacy
Born on 7 August 1938 in Garessio, Italy, Giugiaro had heavy artistic influences from day one: his grandfather, Luigi, painted church frescoes and his father, Mario, was an oil painter. It was no surprise therefore when Giorgetto attended art school and began sketching cars. Fiat's technical director Dante Giacosa spotted his doodlings at the end-of-year exhibition and mentioned him to design chief Fabio Luigi Rapi, leading to his first automotive job in 1955.
Giugiaro didn't get on in a large company and joined Bertone at the end of 1959, leading to a spell at Ghia and then in 1968 he established Studio Italiano Realizzazione Prototipi (SIRP), later rebranded Italdesign. The company has designed more than 200 cars since, with sales of well over 60 million vehicles.
We wish him a very happy retirement!
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