When I started working for (not at) Volkswagen in the 70s, they talked about adding many brands, all the way “from MAN trucks to a motorcycle.” 40 years later, Volkswagen finally has MAN. And it might soon have that motorcycle wish fulfilled.
German media, from Financial Times Deutschland all the way to Das Handelsblatt report that Volkswagen might soon be adding Italy’s Ducati to its sprawling empire. Emperor Ferdinand Piech has a special affinity to the brand: He used to ride a Ducati 1098R. The deal could happen soon: Volkswagen has an option to buy which expires in April, says the Financial Times Deutschland, and the price might be €850 million, plus an assumption of $800 million in debt. Ducati would be bought by Audi, Volkswagen’s unit for (see Lamborghini) Italian properties.
If they add Ducati, another long-cherished Wolfsburg wish would be fulfilled: Volkswagen would finally have its twelve brands.
Another German maker would have to say good-bye to Duacti: Daimler. Daimler and Ducati had a loose alliance. However, Ducatis showed up at Daimler booths at most larger auto shows, fueling fantasies of a takeover.
On the other hand, Volkswagen had been rumored many times before as a suitor for Ducati. Well, it took some 40 years to finally snag MAN.