Italdesign, the automotive design company started by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani was formed in Turin in 1968, celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. During this half-century, the Italian company has influenced market changes with new and innovative designs as well as technologies.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in these 50 years,” said CEO Jorg Astalosch. “Italdesign has always stood out for its ability to dare, to be ahead of its time and anticipate the industry’s needs, working daily to raise the bar of quality standards. If we look at the many prototypes we are proud to have at our Moncalieri headquarters which were inspirational for many successful projects for our customers, this attitude for innovation — never an end in itself — is evident even after many decades”.

“In the last 50 years Italdesign has featured many technological milestones and was also responsible for famous design masterpieces,” President of Italdesign, Dr. Bernd Martens, said “Since it became part of our Audi Group in 2010, Italdesign has broadened its skills and competences. It has become a real turnkey-project service provider for us as well.

A year ago, Italdesign started a new chapter as a car producer. With its new Automobili Speciali brand, it now produces ultra-limited editions for selected collectors and other car manufacturers. Today, Italdesign is an incubator for new and innovative solutions, not only within the Audi Group, but for the entire world.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud (left) and the first Volkswagen Golf were the more famous production models designed by ItalDesign

Since 1968, Italdesign has been responsible for the styling, the engineering development and the prototyping of about 200 vehicle models by many of the world’s leading carmakers, producing thousands of prototypes. After having created the first ‘Tre posti’ (three-seaters) in the world in 1968 with the Bizzarrini Manta; the Alfa Romeo Alfasud in 1971; the Pop.Up developed with Airbus in 2017 for future mobility, Italdesign has always emphasized its commitment to be a top-tier partner for companies working in the highly competitive mobility sector.

Having joined the Volkswagen Group in 2010, Italdesign works closely with many prestigious brands of the group and continues to operate on the open market working with manufacturers outside of the Volkswagen Group. “We are also especially proud of having influenced various Industrial Designs in the past 50 years with our team, from trains, to planes, to cameras or Olympic torches,” Mr. Astalosch added.

ItalDesign has done work for many carmakers, including Proton. This is the EMAS concept it developed for Proton in 2010.
Like other Italian studios, ItalDesign also produced many concept models. This is one of them – the Etna for Lotus.

Italdesign has applied the ‘next 50’ philosophy to the employment contract as well. In fact, 2017 saw the start of two experimental flexible working schemes. The first scheme allows staff to work from home 2 days a month; the second to enjoy greater office hour flexibility, provided that the 40-hour week is respected.

Flexibility not only concerns working hours but also a new concept of space inside the company: some departments have been completely revamped to encourage dialogue and collaboration; walls have been knocked down in favour of open environments and desks are no longer assigned as workstations vary according to the projects.

“The natural push to innovate, which is in the DNA of a company such as in our people, also extends to what we offer our staff,” explained Mr. Astalosch. “For us, wellbeing does not merely mean assistance or prevention, which are already offered to all our employees and their families, but also focusing on the right work-life balance. Flexibility in managing personal time also refers to a new concept of workspaces within the company – walls are knocked down between the various departments, not only in the metaphorical sense, but also to encourage people to exchange ideas and adopt a flexible and more effective approach.”

The 50th anniversary celebration programme will officially commence on March 6 at the Geneva International Motor Show and will continue in June with the company’s attendance at the Turin Motor Show and the Automotive News Europe Congress. Other activities include a Family Day in June for present and former employees who will gather to celebrate the milestone.

[Chips Yap]

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