Insiders reveal to Autocar that the Mercedes-Ducati tie-up could eventually lead to a full takeover

The recent marketing tie-up between Mercedes-AMG and Italian superbike manufacturer Ducati could result in AMG-badged two-wheelers and even a full-blown takeover of the motorcycle maker, according to inside sources.

AMG is, however, unlikely to make any move for a couple of years, while the tie-up “takes its first baby steps”, according to one senior source.

Officially, AMG and Ducati will only say that they are “currently examining further activities and strategic steps they might undertake together in the near future”.

But insiders refused to rule out “high performance” AMG/Ducati motorcycles in the medium term as part of the planned “greening” of the AMG brand.

See pics of Merc's new CLS63 AMG next to a Ducati at the LA show

A number of car makers, including Mini, Smart, Renault, Nissan and BMW, have moved towards offering two-wheelers or scooter-derived vehicles.

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.

Sources at the Italian company told Autocar that they thought it likely that AMG would eventually buy the motorcycle maker. One insider hinted that many in Ducati would willingly become part of a larger conglomerate because of the huge advantages in terms of investment and access to new technology.

Read more on AMG's tie-up with Ducati

Currently, Ducati is owned by the investment arm of an Italian family and sold around 35,000 motorcycles last year. The initial tie-up plans will see the two companies “developing common marketing activities” and AMG will also sponsor the Ducati MotoGP team.

Ahead of any move into the smallest type of personal transport, AMG is planning to launch its own version of next year’s new Mercedes C-class coupe.

The company is also at work on an AMG model based on one of Mercedes’ upcoming new front-drive A- class and B-class family vehicles, with a version of the F800 compact saloon the current favourite for the AMG treatment.Hilton Holloway

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Comments
11

19 November 2010

Is this really because of those grotesque MINI scooters their rivals at BMW unveiled a few weeks ago? If it goes ahead one can only hope it works out better than the last purchase, of the troubled Fiat subsidiary Chrysler.

19 November 2010

[quote Autocar]he recent marketing tie-up between Mercedes-AMG and Italian superbike manufacturer Ducati could result in AMG-badged two wheelers and even a full-blown takeover of the motorcycle maker, according to inside sources.[/quote] BMW tried marketing scooters with its brand but they never caught on, they had a roof. Ducati used to make small motorcycles fifty years ago but have not made anything under 600cc for years. Surely it is a joke for AMG to consider marketing an AMG Ducati performance version of a Ducati motorcycle? Does a Ducati that is capable of a top speed of 186 mph and 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds need a performance version? Or do AMG just mean to market Ducati's with a hideous body kit? BMW 's motorcycle division has been successful making large motorcycles since 1923, you may have heard of its newer division that now makes cars.

19 November 2010

I do hope Mercedes' management don't screw Ducati the way they screwed Chrysler.

jer

19 November 2010

Ducati are a small company that have some wonderful design, engineering and racing teams. Merc AMG is colder clinical less focused on racing. If I could though I would also buy Ducati and lets hope it secures their future. As a side remark anyone notice how impressive some of the engineering coming out of Northern Italy is. I heard once they can make anything there and I tend to agree.

19 November 2010

Well I didn't see that coming o_O

I wonder if that means a Ducati 1198 Black Edition.

Or a SLS AMG SPS.

Hopefully when a certain V. Rossi is done with his red bikes he can drive the Mercedes F1 car.

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

19 November 2010

[quote TheOmegaMan]Hopefully when a certain V. Rossi is done with his red bikes he can drive the Mercedes F1 car. [/quote] I think you may have sussed the real reason for AMG Mercedes involvement with Ducati. For Ducati to hire the services of one Valentino Rossi maybe required the financial muscle of Daimler Benz. Seriously if you think about it the cost of paying the superstar GP rider many squillions spread over only thousands of motorcycles compared with that sum absorbed by Daimler Benz's turnover makes sense.

19 November 2010

[quote Uncle Mellow]

I do hope Mercedes' management don't screw Ducati the way they screwed Chrysler.

[/quote]

I think it was the other way around...but at the least, they both came off worse than when they started.

 

- Follow your own star -

19 November 2010

[quote Maxycat][quote TheOmegaMan]Hopefully when a certain V. Rossi is done with his red bikes he can drive the Mercedes F1 car. [/quote] I think you may have sussed the real reason for AMG Mercedes involvement with Ducati[/quote]

Don't think thats the real reason somehow. Seems a little excessive to get one man.

But maybe another mega-star has been stolen from under the noses of Ferrari. I'd would not be surprised to see him in the seat of a DTM Mercedes - maybe in time for 2012 when BMWs entry make the series more interesting.

19 November 2010

I'm betting VW make a counter bid, it's known they also want a Motorbike brand and they don't come much better than Ducatti. That said I won't bet on Triumph staying independent for much longer, as they seem to be the BMW of motorbikes.... maybe BMW will snap them up and relaunch the car brand... 'cos BMW are like the Nissan of Motorbikes, dull and predictable..... er...

20 November 2010

[quote TStag]I'm betting VW make a counter bid, it's known they also want a Motorbike brand and they don't come much better than Ducatti. That said I won't bet on Triumph staying independent for much longer, as they seem to be the BMW of motorbikes.... maybe BMW will snap them up and relaunch the car brand... 'cos BMW are like the Nissan of Motorbikes, dull and predictable..... er...[/quote] BMW motorbikes used to be seen as an old mans motorcycle but in the last few years they have been topping the sales charts in Europe including the UK with their GS range being the UK's best selling bikes, With their new 1000cc sportsbike being rated better than any of the Japanese competition they are doing very well. I think you are being unkind to Nissan whose latest GTR could hardly be called dull.

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