Giorgetto Giugiaro, born in Cuneo, Italy in 1938 is one of the great automobile and industrial designers of the 20th century. He is credited with designing more cars than anyone else, and these include some of the best-selling and most beautiful automobiles ever produced.
Giorgetto was growing up near Cuneo, Italy. In Turin, he studied art by day and technical design by night. In June 1955, some of his many car sketches were mounted in an end-of-the-year school exhibition. Dante Giacosa, Fiat's technical director, saw the talent behind his work and hired him three months later. He had just turned 17.
Although producing some very interesting early work, Giugiaro found it difficult to grow at Italy's largest auto manufacturer and towards the end of 1959 he joined Bertone. There he penned some of his most important works: the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT, the Fiat 850 Spider, as well as the Testudo and Canguro prototypes and some stunning coachbuilt cars like the Bertone Ferrari 250 GT SWB and a one-off Aston Martin DB4.
At the end of 1965, when Ghia had been written off as being on the road to folding, Giugiaro became head of Ghia's design office. His first works were studies for Volkswagen and Isuzu, and the four cars presented at the 1966 Motor Show: Maserati Ghibli, De Tomaso Pampero, De Tomaso Mangusta and Fiat Vanessa. The Maserati Ghibli and the De Tomaso Pampero were regarded instantly as masterpieces, and launched Ghia once again into the spotlight. His work for Isuzu was very important at this time and the Japanese manufacturer built a large number of Ghia designs.
Hungry to establish his own company, ItalDesign made its debut at the 1968 Turin Motor Show with the Manta prototype. At Italdesign Giugiaro styled over 80 production cars and numerous prototypes and concepts. Various Giugiaro-designed automobiles, including the 1974 Golf, 1980 Fiat Uno and the 1993 Fiat Punto were the most-sold automobiles of their respective production years. Giugiaro did not focus on coachbuilding luxury cars for private clients.
Beginning in the 1970s, ItalDesign extended it's scope to product design including cameras for Nikon, sewing machines for Necchi, and watches for Seiko. His daughter Laura is managing director of the family-controlled Italdesign-Giugiaro SpA, and his son Fabrizio has taken over the styling and prototype studio. Recent work includes the Lexus GS300 and the Daewoo lineup.
May 25th, 2010, Volkswagen took a 90.1 percent stake in Italdesign Giugiaro. The remaining 9,9 % stayed in the possession of the Giugiaro family.
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