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British Mag Says Audi May Buy Ducati

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According to British automotive magazine CAR, Ducati is not only for sale, but the most likely buyer is automotive manufacturer Audi.  According to the story posted online by CAR, Audi has an agreement with Ducati making it the exclusive party to negotiate with Ducati through mid-April. CAR traces the interest of Audi to Ferdinand Piech, head of the Volkswagen Group, which owns Audi among many other automotive manufacturers.  Piech wants a prestige two-wheel manufacturer under the Volkswagen umbrella.  Tell us what you think the massive resources of the Volkswagen Group (nearly the largest auto manufacturer in the world) might mean for the future of Ducati.

27 Comments

  1. dan d says:

    Seems like Fiat, parent of Ferrari, would be a better fit, although Marchionne has his hands full with Chrysler, Fiat, etc. Better Audi than Chinese company. Look what Chinese parent company did to Benelli in this country–beautiful bikes (designed before their purchase of the company) but strangled the market here with no dealer support, parts, service, and no new product.

  2. RC says:

    VW go for it, just leave Ducati to do their own thngh wth teh same Italian passion and you will be rewarded.

  3. Hair says:

    This will probably be the end of the X-Bow

  4. Chris D says:

    So for all you who don’t like this or “hate this” or “makes me ill”, let me ask you this.
    Would you rather have Ducati bought and owned by a Malaysian or Indian company?

    • Curt says:

      That’s it in a nutshell. Anything to keep ownership of the great European marques out of Asia.

  5. Wanderer says:

    Go for it – if it allows Ducati to continue to make delicious sportbikes, why not leverage the cashcow that VW represents? Seen the Aventador J lately? Would Lamborghini have been able to pull that off independently?

  6. Gutterslob says:

    First thing thought came to my head was, “Diesel Powered Desmo”

    :-/

  7. Hopefully whoever ends up buying Ducati, will continue the development of new motorcycles and technology like we have seen in the past and present.
    Alex.

  8. Norm G. says:

    if VW group is doing this…? then this is all about having the audi brand put a shot over the bow of fellow deutsche competitors mercedes and bmw. the luxury segment they compete in is where all the world’s cash is located. truth is they care jack-squat about the non-profit sector of motorcycles. ducati are seen as nothing more than a conduit for intercepting sales from the other. of the 3, BMW’s motorrad division sees them enviably at the top of this food chain. as i’ve explained previously, this competition amongst the germans is where the impetus for the mercedes/AMG/ducati motogp tie up came from. with ducati listed for sale, VW group see’s daimler flinching and hopes to make them pay dearly.

  9. potoduc says:

    This makes me ill.

  10. Steve SJ says:

    I own a VW Jetta SportWagen with diesel direct injection…. great car. My 2nd VW Jetta.. the previous had a 5 cylinder gasoline engine.
    VW owns Audi, Lamborghini & is currently buying Porsche! The technology in the high end sports cars is undeniable! As others have said in ref to the Audi R-8…. I 1st saw an
    R-8 a few years ago… I didn’t know what it was but knew it was fast & cool looking!

    I think VW buying Ducati would be great! VW is a huge company with lots of $$ in the bank. I think it would be a nice fit!

  11. Rick says:

    It just may take a firm such as the VW group to acquire Ducati since they may not be the money-maker some would want. Someone who wants the brand for its bling factor and are willing to put up some cash to keep it going.

  12. clasqm says:

    Hasn’t the Bugatti plant been closed?

    Let’s not forget that the balls-to-the-wall exotica that come to mind when we think “Ducati” are being subsidized entirely by the Monster line and have been for over a decade. As long as the Ducati name does not get attached to a 50cc scooter, who cares who owns the company? In the end it’s the products that matter.

  13. Tom says:

    Large corporations are usually made up of divisions that must each generate profits. Often a NEW division (e.g. Ducati would be a new division to Audi) is considered “strategic” to the corporation, and then for a few years that new division doesn’t need to generate profits. Think of Polaris having Victory Motorcycles as strategic new direction for Polaris Industries. The new divisions is given a “get out of jail free” card for a few years because it’s STRATEGIC, which can be more important than PROFITABLE to the corporate big shots. For a little while. Then after a few years and there is no profit, then the managers of the parent corporation decide that the division is not really “strategic” after all and they dump it. Usually they dump at a great loss, or to a few insider-managers who steal it, slash costs, lay off people, and suddenly make profits. At least for a couple years until they in turn sell it again. Good luck, Ducati.

  14. 00zero says:

    If Audi /VW acquire Ducati, does that mean that NSU will newer have a chance to follow Horex’s resurrection example???

  15. Jim says:

    Duc being purchased by a automobile mfg does not equal nirvana. Large companies expect their divisions to not only make money, but achieve profit targets. High profit margins is something Ducati has not regularly achieved, despite impressive sales numbers.

    Piech is an egotist and not surprisingly wants a storied brand under VW’s control. But in the bean counters will demand profits to keep the stock holders happy. And before some one mentions BMW and Honda, remember both built MC before cars and BMW has been on the verge of shutting down the MC group several times in the last 50 years.

    • Skido says:

      “mentions BMW and Honda, remember both built MC before cars”

      Well perhaps not before cars but DKW made lots of good motorcycles. The incredibly popular BSA Bantum was a DKW model appropriated as spoils of war. Between the wars they were leaders in the smaller GP classes with split cycle engines.

      I think motorcycles are in their blood.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “BMW has been on the verge of shutting down the MC group several times in the last 50 years.”

      correct, and the arrival of the internet changed all that. the first picture ever posted on a forum of a “beemerphile” showing off his garage with an X5, parked next to an M3, parked next to R-bike single-handedly ensured motorrad’s survival. it was at that moment, the proverbial “light bulbs” turned on over the heads of the suits in munich.

  16. chaz says:

    Ducati must get deeper pockets if it is going to continue racing, especially MotoGP. I would prefer the Audi connection as they would get some technical expertise along with the money, and it seems they need it to keep up with the Hondas.

  17. redtruk says:

    I hope this is not true, unless it means that Ducati will grow some cojones and stop demanding special racing treatment under threat of quitting. I have a couple Audi’s and I love them and their history of racing by developing new technology.

  18. Gary says:

    I honestly don’t see it. I’d be surprised if the rumor is correct. The Audi/VW brand (centered on utilitarian luxury/performance) is, in my opinion, a very poor fit for Ducati (uncompromising exotic performance). But I guess stranger things have happened.

    • x-planer says:

      Ever seen an R8GT, Gary? Plenty exotic imho. And not everything Ducati makes is exotic either. Audi/VW have the financial muscle to do it and I see no conflict in their vision of on the road or track performance.

    • Goose says:

      Lets not forget the Bugatti Veyron. At over 260 MPH top speed it is hardly a grocery getter.

      I haven’t a clue about this rumor being true or not but it is intriguing.

      Goose

    • motobell says:

      Are you forgetting Lamborghini is also owned by Audi/VW and so is Bugatti.. so as a conglomerate they have the pedigree and it fits in their high performance portfolio well. It may not fit the Audi’s brand per se but it can easily live in the portfolio with its own brand.

      Nevertheless none of this matters as the other suitor talked about is Hero India who is the most utilitarian brand there is – it is not about pride of ownership but the business case viability for the group to acquire and operate Ducati. As a Ducatisti I would like it to be independent but if the only way the company will be viable is with someone else so be it as long as it is a independently operated company.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I honestly don’t see it.”

      read my post above and it’ll all become clear.