Ducati Becomes $1.1 Billion Audi Accessory

Audi to acquire DucatiIt looks like it's all over except for the formal announcement, which is expected shortly, but it appears the Audi branch of the Volkswagen family will purchase Ducati from Investindustrial for 860 million euros ($1.1 billion). VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech indicated a few years ago he wanted the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, and though there has recently been speculation about a number of firms seriously considering the purchase, it looks like this time, VW will get it.

The Audi acquisition certainly seems positive for Ducati, giving them the financial backing to move forward aggressively during a time when the motorcycle market is still struggling, but exactly what the addition of the Italian marque will do for Audi is less clear. Sometimes a little trophy hunting is really what it's all about and now Ducati can sit next to its VW siblings Lamborghini and Bugatti at family reunions.

UPDATE: It's official


Link: Wall Street Journal
Link: Bloomberg
Link: Reuters

Comments

  1. Fretka says

    Off-hand, I don’t see a downside to this change of ownership at all. Italian style and innovation backed by access to VW’s extensive knowledge and capabilities.
    Thank god this is not one of those rape and pillage/sell off the assets type of acquisitions.

    Fretka

  2. Hawk says

    Certainly will put some financial sability into Ducati.

    Will we see desmodromic valve gear in the Audi race engines?

    How about the Ontario Hospital Employees Pension Fund? Are all the hospital employees going to be buying VWs?

    HMmmmmm ….

    • Bigshankhank says

      I’d rather see a TDI-engined bike!! That plus a dry clutch would sound psychotic…

  3. Nicolas says

    Audi as NSU back in the days used to build bikes, no ? (too young to remember)

    Ducati knows a thing or two about high performance engines, it’s not a bad idea to get that expertise on your side. Plus $1B is only 10% of VW group’s profit last year, they can easily afford this, would it be for technical/engineering reasons or PR reasons or just because some big wig at VW just feels like owning a brand like Ducati … ;-)

    Good for Ducati, who has been really active in releasing exciting new models, they’re now backed up by very deep pockets, it’s good for them and for the whole motorycle industry.

  4. TheWasp says

    I know there’s a lot of debate on how much crossover there is between bikers and car drivers but I would like to see them have some car + motorcycle dealerships in the same building. I could be wrong but I think there are many more Audi dealerships than Ducati so that would be one way to expand Ducati’s footprint. I don’t know if VW has used it’s collective dealer network to expand Bugatti or Lamborghini.

    Of course the service departments would be quite different but I definitely could imagine luxury car shoppers at least showing interest in Ducatis.

  5. john says

    They are connected to Porche somehow too. Porche built the Harley V-rod motor. I wonder if Porche will be building Ducati motors soon.

  6. Scotduke says

    The VW Group has done a lot of things right in recent years, only a few mistakes like the Phaeton. VW buying Ducati will give Ducati the cash for steady investment it needs and add a quality brand to the VW Group. Look at what VW has done for Lamborghini. The cars were always beautiful and stunning performers, but rather fragile and not at all practical. Under VW, the Lamborghini range has retained the stunning performance and looks but added build quality and usabiliity too. I don’t see how this can be anything but good for Ducati. It’ll be a learning curve for parent and subsidiary sure enough but I can’t see how it can be anything but good in the long run for both. And in case you can’t tell, I’m one of the Ducasti.

    • Paulinator says

      I work for a guy that owns two Lamborghinii. He twin-turbo’d one up to 940 hp (dyno-tested) and took it for a speed run. It hit 200 mph and pieces literally blew off of it. They’re like high-classed ladies…they’re nice to look at, but they’ve got thin ankles.

    • Jim says

      “…the cash for steady investment…”

      Only if Ducati hits profitability numbers that can be expected to be far more aggressive than has been expected of the company in the past.

  7. says

    The chairman of VWAG’s supervisory board management is Dr. Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Dr. Piech, even at 75 years old, rides a Ducati and has wanted to buy Ducati since the 1980’s. The reason why VW/Audi bought Ducati is simple: Because Dr. Piech wants it. A business case for buying Ducati was made because, well, Dr. Piech wants it. Yeah, he swings that kind of power. Nice when someone way at the top really loves engineering and machinery that much.

    • johnny ro says

      I like Doug’s angle and approve of Piech, VAG, and this buy for this reason.

      Same feeling as I have thinking of Audi engineers building the ur-quattro under wraps and getting production approval when senior mgt / board members got to experience it. Solid car people.

  8. Wave says

    The real question is, what will VW-Audi Group acquire next? They’ve stated a desire to become the world’s biggest car manufacturer and they’re not far away from achieving it. In a few years if they start producing high-volume motorcycles and eyeing up Honda’s market share, I wouldn’t be at all surprised!

  9. Hawk says

    Can we see a Duc-Wagen in the future?

    The Ducati diesel leave some name options open, doesn’t it?

  10. Fretka says

    PLEASE, no oil burning Ducatis! I want to see all diesel-loving motorcyclists be required to kick-start their bikes!

    As to Audi, (is Audi the current name for the old Auto Union?) the old saw comes to mind…. the German mind makes no mistakes but the biggest.

    Fretka