Would Harley-Davidson make the perfect owner for Ducati?
After the Dieselgate scandal, it was reported that Volkswagen may have to sell off Italian motorcycle company Ducati. Volkswagen's Audi division purchased Ducati for around $1.1 billion, but has done little collaboration besides drop a Ducati engine into the XL Sport concept car. According to a report from Reuters, US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is lining up a bid to purchase its Italian rival from the Volkswagen Group. This deal could be worth up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion) according to sources, which would be a big help for Volkswagen.
Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto is also said to be in the bidding mix, as are several buyout funds. A deal with Harley-Davidson could unite two of the most famous motorcycle brands. Harley-Davidson is known worldwide for its American-style cruisers, while Ducati is synonymous with high-performance bikes and racing. Harley-Davidson has hired Goldman Sachs to work on the deal and tentative bids are expected in mid-July. Volkswagen is working with investment firm Evercore to help fund a strategic overhaul following the massive fines and buyback costs from Dieselgate. Harley-Davidson controls about half of the US motorcycle market, but entering the sports bike category could help it gain even more market share.