By on December 12, 2017

[Image: Audi AG]

Like an overspending spouse whose partner has commanded they sell their toys to pay off debts, Volkswagen put all its options on the table earlier this year in a bid to raise some cash.

After mulling a sale of Ducati during the darkest days of Dieselgate, VW now plans to hang on to the brand. Recently taking action to curb costs and cut red tape, chief executive Rupert Stadler said the company is “gradually increasing our financial and organizational leeway.” Sounds like VW has found a few more coins amid the couch cushions.

Reuters reports Stadler has said there is no longer any economic need to sell Ducati, after asking The Man earlier this year to investigate options for raising funds. Saddled with the bills from its emissions scandal, the company went into full penny-pinching mode after shovelling over $20 billion to the United States in a bid to pay for its dark, sooty, diesel sins.

“I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.”

Knee-deep in expensive zero-emissions projects and autonomous driving efforts, the auto maker needs all the dough it can get. Both the Ducati and Lamborghini lines are big cash cows for the company, as their lucrative profits help to pad the financial ledger in times of heavy cash outflow elsewhere in the organization.

Volkswagen Group’s Audi brand purchased Ducati for just under $1 billion in 2012, nearly 20 years after ex-VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch, a motorcycle enthusiast, passed on an earlier chance. Up to that point, the company had been passed around like a hot potato, having been bought and sold several times.

The real news, of course, is the expected arrival in 2019 of a Ducati section within the Mirabilandia theme park in Italy. Mirabilandia is like an Italian Disney World, except with what I imagine would be a lot more wine. Like the Ferrari park in Abu Dhabi, rollercoasters and simulators are planned, along with a Ducati showroom. A Ducati-themed park means, of course, that the rides will be costly to buy, temperamental to use, and expensive to repair.

However, it’ll look gorgeous and capture your heart during the three days of the year it’s running correctly.

[Image: Audi AG]

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9 Comments on “Hey, That’s My Bike! Sale of Ducati Shelved by Audi CEO...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Good for Audi. Ducati just got 2nd in the MotoGP world championship, and their Scrambler line is selling like gangbusters. They’d be stupid to sell it off now.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Does this mean the Volkswagen XLR is still a reality?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Well, I’m sure it makes Ducati feel all warm and loved, knowing it’s first on the chopping block next time.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I’m waiting for the electric self-riding Ducati.

  • avatar
    deanst

    “Both the Ducati and Lamborghini lines are big cash cows for the company, as their lucrative profits help to pad the financial ledger in times of heavy cash outflow elsewhere in the organization.”

    Umm, no. Last I looked ducati had an operating profit of less than $100 million, and I doubt Lamborghini was any better. For a $200 billion (revenue) company like VW, this comes close to loose change in the sofa.

    • 0 avatar
      genuineleather

      Precisely. Ducati was always a vanity purchase that contributes little to VW in the way of R&D, economies of scale, or profit. If VW were run as a rational public company instead of a Porsche family ego exercise/Lower Saxony employment program the Ducati purchase would’ve never happened in the first place.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Ducati-themed park”

    I wonder what the Diavel ride will be like?

    Brutally fact acceleration then brutally hard deceleration due to a bunch of typical cruisers in the way?

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    “A Ducati-themed park means, of course, that the rides will be costly to buy, temperamental to use, and expensive to repair.”

    Lol….funny but no longer true. Modern Ducatis may be marginally more expensive to buy new (special editions notwithstanding)but they are as reliable as your typical Japanese sportbike. Both my Diavel and Panigale have been pretty much trouble-free and parts prices (both OE and aftermarket) are about on par with R1s, CBRs and S1000RRs.

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