After replacing Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Volkswagen Group design chief De Silva will strengthen Italdesign, design and engineering company based in Italy, as an innovation centre after he became the Italian house’s new chairman.
Giugiaro resigned in June from the company he co-founded back in 1968, being succeeded by de Silva on September 1st. De Silva will oversee all the group’s brands including Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Vokkswagen, Skoda and Seat.
Filippo Perini, 50, who is Lamborghini’s head of design, has also become Italdesign’s new design director, succeeding Wolfgang Egger, who was Audi’s former chief designer.
The design house is meant to have a greater role as a design and engineering innovation centre for all of VW Group’s 12 brands, as De Silva declared. He stated for Automotive News Europe that he will give VW Group’s brand centres more power as they will become “ambassadors” for good design and also as they will create “stunning” cars to get global recognition and appreciation. DeSilva added that Italdesign will compete with the brand design centres on new models and that it will develop “design and engineering concepts that could become a platform for future interbrand innovations”.
Former Volkswagen executive, Joerg Astalosch, 43, is now the new CEO of Italdesign, replacing Enzo Pacella, who remains in the company as a consultant for public affairs. He will work alongside De Silva and Perini, who are to head from now on Italdesign’s creative team.
Due to the new hires, Astalosch predicts that the workforce will reach 1000 people by the end of 2015. However, he refused to give a forecast for Italdesign’s revenue for this year, while last year its profits increased by €19 million, up to 189 million.