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Harley-Davidson Reportedly Among Potential Bidders for Ducati

A couple of months ago, we reported that Volkswagen, which controls Ducati through its Audi automobile division, is looking to sell the Italian brand as part of a financial restructuring following the emissions scandal that has cost the company billions.

A new report posted by Reuters earlier today indicates Harley-Davidson, according to Reuters’ sources, has hired the giant Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs to represent it in connection with a potential bid for Ducati.  Take a look at the Reuters report yourself, but there are several potential bidders expected to submit offers next month, including some large private equity funds.

Reuters’ sources indicated the winning bid could be in the neighborhood of $1.67 billion (1.5 billion euros). The deal could bring needed diversification to the iconic American brand.


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138 Comments

  1. Rob in Upstate SC says:

    Here in South Carolina, you either don’t get a wave or they point their finger down, indicating you are the low-life. I just ignore them, except its hard with their loud/straight pipes annoying all. Their charity events are a cover for public acceptance, and somehow they think a justification for the noise they create.

  2. Infadel_macgee says:

    Great a Panagale with apehanger bars coming soon

  3. SmokinRZ says:

    I would hate to see Ducati go, but if that is the sacrificial lamb that could help take Harley down then so be it. Harley has been a thorn in motorcycling for too long, and with the SOA popularity, the Harley contingent (bikers) have become really aggressive towards motorcyclist. I can only hope Indian continues to take market share. Longing for the day the “motor company” goes under.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      This isn’t a criticism of your comment so much as a nagging curiousity of mine: Why are so many people interested in “taking Harley down” or wishing that they fail? I personally find nothing appealing about their bikes and lifestyle image they perpetuate, but lots of other people do. I would take no pleasure in seeing fans of the brand and bikes lose out. Or the employees. Or the marque itself. What is the motivation behind perspectives such as yours in this matter?

      • ApriliaRST says:

        Jeremy, I agree. I delight in criticizing Harley at times but applaud them for their success. They make a very high quality product and if one suits your riding, it’s a good buy. I think you get a lot of product for the money, especially price per pound.

  4. PN says:

    Ugh. This is the stupidest business idea imaginable. Ducati displays fabulous engineering while H-D, aka The Motor Company, sells products that are seriously, absurdly under-engineered. Ducati deserves so much better. I’d like to see Yamaha come in.

  5. oldjohn1951 says:

    Sorry, not drinking the Kool-Aid on this one. I think HD is going to be grabbed by some venture capital operation and will be stripped of everything and everybody that doesn’t show profit or promise. My guess would be Ducati will be grabbed by the likes of QJ in China. That would give them worldwide dealer access for not only Ducati, but also Benelli which basically has no dealers.

  6. Sentinel says:

    Because they did such a great job with Buell and MV Agusta…

  7. stan says:

    Ducati sold a whopping 8787 bikes in the US last year (sarcasm). Since most squids live in CA or FL, not surprising you never see them anywhere else in CONUS. Statistically Ducati is a non-entity. Who gives a rip who buys them – if they can increase sales by changing corporate big brothers more power to them.

    • Tim C says:

      I have seen no less than 3 Supersports on the road here in the Denver area. Those have been in stock for maybe a month.

      • hammer says:

        Harhar 3 in Denver – that’s getting him back LOL..

        • Tim C says:

          Denver is Harley country. The bike just went on sale. Seeing 3 of this new model on the roads (yes I see plenty of other Ducs on the road here too) is reasonably significant in terms of Ducati apparently getting this one right as well as having demand outside of “CA or FL.”

    • Gary says:

      Hate much?

    • Half Baked says:

      Why are you shouting CONUS? I see Ducati’s on the street nearly every day here in SoCal and have never observed a “squid” riding one. That seems to be the exclusive domain of 600 and 1000 cc in-line 4 cylinder sportbikes from Japan.

  8. mechanicus says:

    I’m not so against it. I travel all over the U.S. and don’t recall seeing a single Ducati on the road in the last year, so explain to me how it hurts. Maybe HD can get more of them out there onto the pavement – in whatever form.

    • slipjoint says:

      I have carried the same rider and his monster home twice on a trailer when it failed about 40 miles from his house. I have seen that one up close.

  9. Tim C says:

    You know, an aside on the whole Lifestyle thing. I went to my local Duc dealer to check out – NOT test ride because I know what that might lead to – the new Supersport.

    Anyway, point of the story, a guy was there to test ride the thing, and he was suiting up. He was a total Hipster Cafe Racer type – he had jeans, cafe-racer style jacket (his most protective garment), a half helmet, goggles, and was wrapping his face in some kind of scarfy bandana type thing….

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      still waiting for the punchline. Are you implying that the hipster image is as pretentious as the biker image for their respective brands?

      • Tim C says:

        No, just that several people have mentioned that Harley sells lifestyle more than motorcycles, but Ducati is hardly immune to this. Yeah, I like their motorcycles – and lifestyle, depending – a lot more than H-D’s personally, but I wouldn’t say their business models – or the mentality of all their customers – are as different as perhaps the more hardcore “real” motorcyclists on the Ducati side of things might prefer.

        • slipjoint says:

          Another reason to hate on V-twins, they apparently are the root cause of butt-less chaps, tassels and now euro fashion motorcycle attire.

          • austin zzr 1200 says:

            Hey buddy, I ride a ’08 650 V-strom (arguably the least pretentious of all bikes) , thems fighting words!

  10. Ron H says:

    Don’t do it Volkswagen. I’d be like Yugo running Porsche.

  11. azi says:

    People, please stop spelling it as “MV Augusta”! *flips table*

    • Auphliam says:

      Doesn’t matter. The whole MV scenario has no relevance to this at all, but people feel the need to throw whatever HD bashing cards their brains hold, so that’s what comes out. It’s like that person that always tries to lead with trump in euchre LOL