Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati is no longer up for sale – at least for now.
After the dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen needed to take drastic measures to cover the monumental costs of fixing affected cars and paying various fines. At one point, the German automaker was considering selling the Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, which was acquired by VW's Audi division for around $1.1 billion back in 2012. It was looking almost certain that Ducati would be sold off, with as many as four companies looking to offer bids to purchase the company including rival US motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson.
However, Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler has confirmed that the company has abandoned its plans to sell Ducati. Speaking with Reuters, Stadler explains how VW has taken steps to reduce costs by $11.8 billion and deepen ties between Porsche and Audi as part of an alignment strategy between the two brands. As a result, there's simply "no economic need to sell Ducati" according to the chief executive. "I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family. Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes," he told Reuters, thus marking the end of two years of rumors.
Plans to sell Ducati started to look uncertain back in the summer when VW's powerful labor unions, backed by the controlling Porsche-Piech families, opposed the decision. Stadler added that the growing costs of Audi's push towards zero-emissions and autonomous technology make it more important to retain ownership of the profitable Ducati and lucrative Lamborghini brand. "Looking after a premium bouquet is as difficult as the work of a gardener," Stadler said. "Therefore I am pleased with every new flower, with every promising new branch," he added, predicting Lamborghini's sales would double thanks to the launch of the Urus SUV.