Piech poised to add another Italian treasure to his collection

Luca Ciferri is a reporter for Automotive News
Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech has a deep appreciation for Italian treasures. If things go according to plan, he will have another one soon.

Automotive News Europe reported Wednesday that VW next week will announce it is taking a controlling stake in Italdesign Giugiaro.

Italy's largest and most powerful design and engineering firm is led by Piech's longtime friend, Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The two auto industry giants, who have known each other since 1972, make a dynamic team. Giorgetto Giugiaro was named car designer of the 20th century by an international jury in 1999. That same jury named Piech car executive of the century.

Piech, 73, earned that title by making bold moves. Two of those with connections to Italy include bringing the Lamborghini brand under the VW roof and convincing another famous car designer, Walter de' Silva, to leave his native Italy to become a key member of the VW family.

While Italdesign will be part of Piech's grand legacy, Giugiaro, 71, will see his role change from successful entrepreneur to a noble and seasoned statesman in the massive VW kingdom.

Which of Italy's prized possessions will enter Piech's trophy case next?

The VW chairman has had a long love affair with Alfa Romeo and motorcycle maker Ducati.

Stay tuned, because modern automotive history has shown that when Piech really wants something, he usually gets it.