Hey, That's My Bike! Sale of Ducati Shelved by Audi CEO

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
hey thats my bike sale of ducati shelved by audi ceo

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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2 of 9 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Dec 12, 2017

    "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?

  • IHateCars IHateCars on Dec 13, 2017

    "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.

  • Bca65698966 V6 Accord owner here. The VTEC crossover is definitely a thing, especially after I got a performance tune for the car. The loss of VTEC will probably result in a slower vehicle overall for one reason: power under the curve. While the peak horsepower may remain the same, the amount of horsepower and torque up to that peak may be less overall. The beauty of variable cam lift is not only the ability to gain more power at upper rpm’s on the “big cam”, but the ability to gain torque down low on the “small cam”. Low rpm torque gets the vehicle moving and then big horsepower at upper rpm’s gains speed. Having only one cam profile is now introducing a compromise versus the VTEC setup. I guess it’s possible that with direct injection they are able to keep the low rpm torque there (I’ve read that DI helps with low rpm torque) but I’m skeptical it will match a well tuned variable lift setup.
  • FreedMike My prediction: the Audi team fails when the water pumps in their race cars give out after lap 20.
  • FreedMike "...they’re often helpful in seeing behind vehicles without much reward visibility ..."Might want to fix that typo...
  • Oberkanone 5 years out if Toyota is only now considering a smaller truck. Engineering, certification, contracting parts supply, etc. take time.
  • Lou_BC I love the back up camera on my old F150 and on my ZR2. It was nice on the SuperCrew because the truck was 20 feet long. The ZR2 is short but with big fender flares and short tall box. The mirrors are too close to the doors as well. It makes it hard to see the rear corners. I don't rely on it 100% but as an adjunct to the door mirrors.