Audi received exclusive rights to negotiate for the acquisition of the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. The German automaker has until the middle of April to finalize its offer for the buyout. According to sources within Audi, the price will be around 250-300 million euros. The initially announced price of 800 million was corrected and rightfully so. The debts of the Ducati Company amount to more than 200 million euro though, so Audi is not really buying a top-performing company.
VW Group going motorcycle shopping
Apparently, the desire to compete with BMW in every possible segment is paramount. And buying Ducati seems like a chance to stand up against BMW Motorrad. It will take a couple of years to release a real competitor to the BMW S 1000 RR superbike, which took the world by storm last year and left even the Suzuki Hayabusa in the dust. But as we know the VW Group has a history of successful acquisitions so this could be their next successful brand.
However, the motorcycle market is quite different from the automobile industry so this will be a bigger challenge for the company. Hopefully, the strong character of the brand will be preserved and the traditions will be followed the way Audi successfully did and keeps doing with another Italian brand that is under its wing – Lamborghini. According to analysts, Ducati will fit in perfectly in Volkswagen Groups’ portfolio which includes Volkwagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Scania and MAN. This will be VW Group’s first motorcycle experience so it will be very interesting to see how it turns out and how the motorbike enthusiasts react to it.
There has been a recent spur of interest towards Ducati from various companies. Potential buyers include the Indian Mahindra and Hero as well as Daimler. There have also been some speculations about BMW and Harley Davidson.
Ducati – A Motorcycle Legend
Ducati has some serious technological assets. It has had a partnership with Ferrari and some access to its technologies for many years now. Ducati is also a very strong brand among motorbike enthusiasts and has a history of successes in motorbike racing with numerous victories in both the Moto GP World Championship and the Superbike World Championship. Currently, the nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi rides for the Ducati team in the Moto GP. The company itself was founded in 1926 in Bologna, Italy. It has been making motorcycles since the 1950s. Today, Ducati sells about 35000-40000 motorcycles a year. It has a reputation of luxurious, fast and dependable models.
It is a tendency for automobile manufacturers to own motorcycle brands. BMW Motorrad has been in existence for more than 100 years. Brands such as Peugeot, Honda, Renault and Nissan also are involved in motorcycle production. Motorcycle brands are used to attract young buyers that will eventually become clients of the automobile company as well and remain loyal to the brand.