Take a moment to let that sink in and think about it. Ready? Ok. Audi won’t tell you until probably around next week, but they’ve pretty much sealed the deal on acquiring Ducati, the famed Italian motorcycle maker. Yes, motorcycle maker. This isn’t some Italian design studio you’ve never heard of, or a fashion brand, it’s the motorcycle maker that has won 17 manufacturer’s World Championship titles since 1926, including the 2011 race.
Why on earth would Audi do that?
First off, according to Investindustrial Holdings chairman Andrea Bonomi (one of Ducati’s former parent companies) the firm had announced it wanted to sell Ducati a few months ago. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Intesa Sanpaolo unit Banca IMI have all advised Ducati to go ahead and make the big sale. Second, Volkswagen isn’t exactly best friends with its competition from BMW, and the move should pit VW against BMW’s sportbike offerings. VW also wants the company’s experience at designing light, high revving engines added to the company’s portfolio. Audi could especially use the technology for fuel efficiency technologies.
And third, as said by one banker, “If Piech wants it, he will get it,” In case you forgot, VW/Audi also own Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, SEAT, Skoda, and VW Commercial Vehicles which now owns Scania and MAN trucks and heavy vehicles. For a bit of trivia, VW also owns the original Auto Union, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer brands, which are the original four rings of Audi, although these are inactive today.