TURIN, Italy - For the second straight year, Geneva auto show organizers fined Italdesign-Giugiaro for not having its concept car ready before press day.
The concept car, the Aston Martin-based Twenty Twenty, was shown on Feb. 28 - one day late.
Italdesign also showed a copy of the Touareg off-roader it built for fashion photographer Helmut Newton, and announced an acquisition, a joint venture and a strategic alliance. All are aimed at turning the design house into a full-service coachbuilder.
Italdesign acquired 3 E - European Engineering Enterprise, based in Beinasco, Italy, near Turin. It is a 40-person engineering studio specializing in carbon fiber technologies.
The joint venture is designed to reinforce growth in France, which provided 20 percent of Italdesign revenue last year. Italdesign will own 70 percent of Italdesign-Gallizio, which will be set up near Paris in May. Arrigo Gallizio, a Turinese model maker, will own the rest.
The joint venture will build models and prototypes, mainly for French carmakers. Gallizio will direct an initial team of 20 employees, with plans to grow to 40.
Italdesign also signed a strategic alliance with Magnetto Industrial Group of Turin. Magnetto fabricates steel, stamps sheet metal, makes wheels and assembles bodies-in-white.
It operates in Italy, France, Poland and Latin America. The strategic alliance covers all of Europe but is aimed mainly at the French market. It is similar to an agreement Italdesign signed four years ago with FATA for markets in the Far East.
The deals will add to Italdesign's styling, engineering and development capacities. They also allow Italdesign to offer carmakers stamping and welding assembling lines.
The Italdesign-FATA agreement already has been awarded a luxury sedan project by a Chinese maker.
Italdesign's emphasis on broader European capability may be paying dividends.
Production revenue grew 5 percent in 2000 to $120.8 million.