Sometimes you don't know what to believe but this story has popped up almost everywhere in the past few days, which means very little on the Internet, of course, but according to the reports, "Ducati Motor Holding ... would consider a merger with US-based Harley-Davidson “anytime”, said Enrico D’Onofrio, CFO."
If you read the reports carefully, you see this potential merger was one of many scenarios discussed but the Harley merger was considered the best of the possible combinations.
A merger with Harley-Davidson would be “totally complementary”, he said, responding to speculation in the market that the two firms had been in talks. And while he declined to comment on the speculation, he did say that the two companies are similar in that they create recreational bikes that consumers fantasize about. “People want to buy a dream.” Harley-Davidson has an older consumer profile, with an average age of 55, while Ducati owners are about 35, on average. Half of all Ducati owners in the US also own a Harley, D’Onofrio added.(emphasis added)
The cross ownership statistic is interesting and may bring a few Harley Davidson critics down to earth. I guess the Ducatisti must change dramatically when they fire up the Harley, either that, or Harleys fill a spot in the market for people that ride all kinds of bikes, and if they feel like corner carving one day they throw a leg over the Ducati but when they want to cruise around with a few friends they light up the Hog.
Will this merger take place sometime in the future? Only company insiders would know for sure and at this point, it's way too early even for them to know. The motorcycle market is definitely changing and we'll probably see many interesting company combinations proposed. Ducati and Harley Davidson, ... Hmm, ...
Just a further thought: Maybe someone at Ducati was looking at this and thought "Hey, not a bad idea!"
Link: Financial Times