Volkswagen buys out car designer Italdesign-Giugiaro

Moncalieri, Italy: Volkswagen AG said Tuesday it will acquire a 90.1% stake in Italian car designer Italdesign-Giugiaro SpA as part of its ambitious global expansion plan. The shares are to be acquired by VW's Italian sports car unit Lamborghini Holding SpA.

Financial details, however, were not revealed though VW chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said the purchase price was "substantial".

"The future of Italdesign is in good hands with Volkswagen ... For us it's an ideal partner," VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn told reporters at a briefing in Turin.

Family-owned  since 1968, Italdesign-Giugiaro has designed cars for reputed brands, including BMW AG, General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and China's Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd.

It has important design credits to its name including Volkswagen's first-ever Golf hatchback in 1974 as well as concepts for important models such as the first Passat, Scirocco and the Audi 80.

VW also said that the acquisition would not affect the functioning of the group's other global design centres and that it expected the new acquisition to only foster competition amongst themselves.