Mercedes says its formal tie-up with Ducati is still in place
12 March 2012

Mercedes says its formal tie-up with Ducati is still in place and will remain valid unless the Italian bike company is sold.

Yesterday Audi was linked with a buyout of Ducati, even though the motorcycle firm has an existing marketing cooperation agreement with Merc offshoot AMG. That deal, established in 2010, was seen by many as a precursor to Mercedes purchasing Ducati.

But with Audi emerging as the favourite to to buy the firm – and take on its considerable debts – from parent company Ducati Motor Holding, a Mercedes spokesman said: "We have an agreement [with Ducati] and until such time that any purchase of Ducati is confirmed, either by Audi or anyone else, we will continue this agreement along the lines we have set out."

Volkswagen Group chiefs have remained similarly tight-lipped about the prospect of Audi buying the motorcycle brand. VW's chief executive Martin Winterkorn would not confirm or deny the rumour during yesterday morning’s VW Group profits press conference in Germany.

Ducati sells around 35,000 motorcycles per year. VW top brass have long been keen to add a motorcycle brand to their group’s portfolio, which includes Volkswagen cars, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Volkswagen commercial vehicles and truck companies Scania and MAN.

A number of car makers, including Mini, Smart, Renault and Nissan, have moved towards offering two-wheelers or scooter-derived vehicles. BMW's Motorrad division has built motorcycles since the 1920s.

The trend is seen as a way of capturing both younger people who are unlikely to buy a new car until they are in their early 40s and offering branded and premium two-wheel mobility in the booming ‘megacities’ of developing nations.

The NSU name – once a major motorcycle brand – is also part of Audi, and there is said to be an outside chance that Audi may revive the badge for a new range of urban commuting vehicles.

Aside from the financial implications, a takeover by a major corporation such as VW would make sense for Ducati due to the huge advantages in terms of investment and access to new technology.

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Comments
33

12 March 2012

It'll seem real strange thinking of a Ducati originating from a German company, before you know it Jaguar will be Indian and Volvo Chinese. It'll never happen!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

12 March 2012

VW are desperate to get hold of some Italian Marques. Perhaps to inject some style into their increasing samey designs

12 March 2012

[quote fhp11]

VW are desperate to get hold of some Italian Marques. Perhaps to inject some style into their increasing samey designs

[/quote]

Sadly, I think it's the other way round, just look at Lamborghini and the Germanicness their cars now have.

Not sure how the VW group PQD structure will look on a bike though! ;-)

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 March 2012

[quote fhp11]

VW are desperate to get hold of some Italian Marques. Perhaps to inject some style into their increasing samey designs

[/quote]

You're right - but the Italian brand they really want is Alfa Romeo. I'm not sure Alfa customers would be too happy about that though! Well, some of them probably wouldn't care!

12 March 2012

Another cultural wipe-out.

12 March 2012

I think there is more to this than you think, How about Ducati building cars? Ducati Polo/Golf etc, But with Giugiaro styling and between VW/Audi pricing? or could even be above Audi, If VW cannot have Alfa then perhaps producing their own version would be like sticking two fingers up at the Fiat boss....

12 March 2012

I know the VW group are very successful but i think they have enough going on without motorbikes being added to the equation.What next,aircraft?? Oh dear better not encourage them!!

12 March 2012

[quote Fidji]I'm not sure Alfa customers would be too happy about that though![/quote] This customer would be really p**ssed off!

13 March 2012

[quote newdevonian][quote Fidji]I'm not sure Alfa customers would be too happy about that though![/quote] This customer would be really p**ssed off![/quote]

What about if the choice was Audi, Indian, Chinese or Bust?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

13 March 2012

[quote xxxx]What about if the choice was Audi, Indian, Chinese or Bust?[/quote] Sounds like playing Russian Roulette with four loaded chambers!

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