Tag: Ducati

By on October 7, 2020

On Tuesday, Ducati announced it would be adding adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring to the Multistrada V4  effectively making it the first production motorcycle in the world to receive such features. While chucking front and rear-facing radar onto an automobile has become relatively common, motorbikes haven’t been getting them. Pricing remains the largest concern but many motorcycle enthusiasts have also pointed out the systems may expose riders to unnecessary risks.

If the forward-mounted radar on your car sees the vehicle in front getting closer, it may jam on the brakes to save you from an accident. On two wheels, that same action runs the risk of tossing a rider over the handlebars before promptly running themselves over. This leaves us wondering as to the true usefulness of these systems migrating to motorcycles. Have we gone mad with electronic nannies or is all this progress worth it to keep us safe?

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By on September 30, 2020

Volkswagen Group, the largest automotive manufacturer in the world, is reexamining its relationship with high-performance subsidiaries as it continues pouring money into electrification. Burned by a diesel emissions scandal of its own making half a decade ago, VW leadership now views electric cars as the only path forward  especially in regard to its more mainstream brands. While they aren’t getting identical treatments, VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda are all presumed to be adding EVs to their production lines over the next few years.

Porsche’s long-term strategy also seems heavily dependent on battery power, but the road ahead is much less clear for ultra-premium brands like Lamborghini and Bugatti. With volumes and lineups order of magnitudes smaller than the core brands, Volkswagen would be incurring a gigantic expense to develop upper-echelon performance EVs that might not appeal to their existing fans. The same goes for upscale motorcycle brand Ducati as the two-wheeled world has become divided on electric and gas-powered bikes. Volkswagen’s management board and directors have decided the situation calls for an all-hands meeting in November to decide what should be done and how to remain financially prudent in a period of economic strife.

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By on March 17, 2020

With reports of factory shutdowns now being the norm, Volkswagen and Toyota have predictably decided to idle facilities in Europe to mitigate the negative influence of the novel coronavirus. VW Group had already made plans to temporarily close assembly lines in Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. But said that the entirety of Europe will probably be affected this month.

Toyota was singing a similar song on Tuesday morning, saying it would suspend production in France and Portugal this week. Considering the sameness of these virus-related cancelations, we’ll not bore you with any recaps — you know how we got here. Instead, here’s the gist of the manufacturers’ respective strategies:  (Read More…)

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.

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By on August 21, 2017

vw logo volkswagen passat

Financial analysts and industry experts have been expecting Volkswagen to begin selling assets to help cope with the cost of its diesel emissions cheating scandal. The penalty for its deception may have already reached $24.2 billion, and German lawsuits could tack on another $8 billion.

However, Europe’s largest automaker says it’s not interested in selling off properties to recoup losses associated with the scandal. It has another plan to rake in the cash. (Read More…)

By on April 26, 2017

[Image: Audi AG]

After history’s largest and most expensive automotive scandal forced a sudden pivot at Volkswagen Group — from expansion-minded to profit-focused — the German automaker might let go of a cherished toy.

According to insider sources who spoke to Reuters, VW is exploring the sale of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati as part of a company-wide streamlining effort. After shoveling over $20 billion to the United States in a bid to end its diesel debacle, the company is in full penny-pinching mode.

The revered boutique motorcycle company was a long-awaited feather in ex-VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch’s hat, but after just five years of ownership, it may be time for Ducati to find a new home. (Read More…)

By on November 14, 2016

1990 Opel Lotus Omega, Image: Lotus Cars

While in recent months TTAC has reported on the declining popularity of the four door, there are still a plethora of fast sedans in the marketplace.

In fact, the performance extracted from them was unfathomable even a generation ago. How did we end up at a 500-horsepower Audi, a 640-horsepower Cadillac and 707-horse Dodge? What were once numbers reserved for otherworldly exotics now are found in a pedestrian nameplate.

But this is no new trend, for while the current power war we’re experiencing has generated outlandish performance numbers for a mere average Joe, the recipe of sticking the most punch possible into a sedan for the masses goes back a long way.

(Read More…)

By on June 20, 2016

VW Golf Harlequin

Volkswagen is rumored to cut some 40-plus models from its worldwide fleet as it ushers in a new era of electrification.

That, Tesla wants you to order something now instead of waiting until later, and millennials are just like the rest of us … after the break.

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By on June 15, 2015

Audi RS 3 Sportback

Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs.

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By on October 2, 2014

Volkswagen-XL-Sport-2

What happens when you mashup Italian motorcycle power with German engineering? The Volkswagen XL Sport happens.

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By on April 20, 2012

Once again, the temptation to create some sexually sugesstive headline like many other blogs is great – THIS IS THE AUDI THAT CUCKOLDED AMG’S DUCATI – is one that springs to mind. Instead, we offer you a dour, Germanic explanation of why things went south with Ducati and AMG.

(Read More…)

By on April 17, 2012

Instagram, the popular photo sharing service, was bought by Facebook for $1 billion, despite not producing any tangible goods or generating revenue. Ducati is all but set to be purchased by Volkswagen for $1.12 billion, while producing tens of thousands of premium motorcycles sold across the globe ad fielding one of the most prestigious brands in the transportation industry.

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2012

It would be a great announcement to start the Beijing Auto Show, opening to the media in the world’s largest car market on April 23. Audi has its eyes on another date in the calendar: On April 18, a day before VW’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Hamburg, Audi should announce the purchase of Italy’s motorcycle maker Ducati, sources tell Reuters.

The story has been around for a while, but a due diligence check takes time. Audi’s auditors did not find any hidden skeletons, reports the wire service. Other papers, such as the Corriere de la Sera, and Germany’s Handelsblatt agree.

Ducati would round out Volkswagen’s brand portfolio nicely. It would have everything from heavy trucks, even ship engines, to screaming superbikes. It also would flip the bird at Audi’s Bavarian rival BMW.

 

By on April 1, 2012

If you sell anything, a house, a car, a company, you always appreciate a good bidding war. Rivals Audi and Daimler could be in such a bidding war, if Italy’s Corriere della Sera is correctly informed. They are feuding over a troubled maker of motor cycles, Ducati. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2012

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. (Read More…)

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