VW-owned design house looks to Apple, Google and Tesla for expansion.

Volkswagen Group subsidiary Italdesign is targeting Apple, Google, and Tesla in an attempt to reduce its dependence on work from its parent.

That's the mission of new CEO Jorg Astalosch, who said he wants to "establish new cooperations with major players in all relevant markets." In 2015, 95 percent of Italdesign's €197 million (approx. $282 million CAD) of revenues came from the VW Group.

The German giant first bought into Italdesign, the Italian styling house founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro, in 2010, acquiring 90.1 percent of the company. It bought the remaining shares last year, at which point Giugiaro retired from the company. Since 2010, the Group's 12 brands have accounted for the vast majority of Italdesign's work.

Alongside its core automotive work, Italdesign is also looking to expand its presence in industrial design. That avenue has brought huge success to the likes of Pininfarina. At present, only five percent of Italdesign's revenue comes from that area, the rest from 'transport-related' projects.

According to the company, 15 percent of its revenue in 2015 came from design and models, 25 percent from prototyping and 60 percent from engineering.

Italdesign currently employs around 1,000 people and produce 500 to 600 prototypes, show cars, and pre-production units every year. Producing limited runs of special edition cars for high-end manufacturers also factors into the plans. Design boss Filippo Perini has extensive experience in that area from his time at Lamborghini.

Source: Automotive News Europe




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