For much of the year, there have been reports doing the rounds that suggested Audi was about to sell of Ducati. The illustrious Italian bike brand is in rude financial health with annual earnings hovering around the €100 million mark, but with the wider VW Group looking to improve its financial health following the costly Dieselgate scandal, a sale has been on the cards.
Harley Davidson was thought to be in the running at one point, in a potential deal purportedly worth €1.5 billion, but it seems the Bologna-based firm won’t be sold after all.
Just over a month on from the Ducati’s launch of the new, 211bhp Panigale (above), Audi’s chief executive Rupert Stadler has said that efforts to reduce costs by €10 billion are “gradually increasing our financial and organizational leeway for the strategic realignment.”
This - Reuters reports) - includes strengthening its relationship with Porsche (think platform, engine and tech sharing), and it means that Ducati isn’t for the chop after all. “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,” Stadler said.
So, the brand will stay under Audi ownership for now (via subsidiary Lamborghini), but Reuters also reports that investors and potential buyers are expecting Ingolstadt to change its mind. It’s not over yet…