Mike Stevens | Aug 10, 2010

Following confirmation of a binding agreement back in May, Volkswagen has this week announced it has completed the purchase of a 90.1 percent stake in Italian automotive design firm Italdesign Giugiaro.

The latest feather in Volkswagen's cap comes as part of its march towards its ambition of becoming the world's largest carmaker. The cost of the deal has not yet been revealed.

"Italdesign has now become a permanent member of the Volkswagen Group. Given the full order books and numerous interesting projects, the perspectives are better than ever," Volkswagen CEO, Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn said.

"In view of our ongoing model initiative and the associated development and design assignments, we will be expanding Italdesign's highly-motivated and productive team," Winterkorn added.

Officially, the acquisition has been made by Lamborghini, the Italian subsidiary of Audi - both companies part of the larger Volkswagen Automotive Group.

Italdesign founder Giorgetto Giugiaro described the sale as a step forward for his company.

"Becoming part of the Volkswagen Group means revaluating ourselves and our strength. Entering Volkswagen means to open up a promising perspective for the company," Mr Giugiaro said.

Giugiaro will continue to lead the Italdesign board of directors, although Volkswagen has also appointed to the board Gerhard Willner, currently the head of concept development for Volkswagen's passenger cars.

Italdesign is a renowned and well-known identity in the automotive world, responsible for the design of Volkswagen's first-generation Golf, along with the original Scirocco. Outside of its dealings with VW, the Italian outfit has worked with Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Maserati, as well as French firm (now Volkswagen-owned) Bugatti.

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