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It's Official: Audi Really Is Buying Ducati


Ducati's Diavel Carbon

Ducati's Diavel Carbon

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It’s been the worst-kept secret in the automotive industry, but now it’s official: luxury automaker Audi is buying Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. While details of the sale haven’t officially been disclosed, Reuters is reporting that Audi paid some 860 million euros ($1.13 billion) for the brand.

Critics say the move makes no sense, as Ducati really doesn’t add to Audi’s current business model. Stefan Bratzel, director of the Automotive Center at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergische-Gladbach, called the purchase “just a trophy in the wall cabinet.”

On the other hand, the purchase does give Audi access to Ducati’s engine technology, which may be adaptable to future small Audi models. It also gives Audi the ability to go head-to-head with BMW in a second market, even if Ducati’s product line doesn’t exactly match the diversity of BMW’s motorcycle division, BMW Motorrad.

Other suitors named over the course of the sale included Daimler, who quickly denied interest even though AMG has a co-marketing agreement in place with Ducati, and Fiat heir Lapo Elkann. Elkann wanted to buy the brand in a fit of nationalistic furor, but didn’t want to pay anywhere near the billion-euro asking price.

In the end, the biggest justification for Audi’s purchase may have been simply that Volkswagen Group’s chairman, Ferdinand Piech, has a passion for the Ducati brand and its designs. When the purchase is finalized, Ducati will become the 12th company in the Volkswagen Group’s portfolio, which now includes everything from supercars to full-size trucks.
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Comments (9)
  1. That would be the second major Italian purchase from the German automaker after Lamborghini, if I'm not mistaken...Just another example of what hard cash can do...
     
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  2. Ducati is the premier brand in motorcycling and great brands are always a good buy. Stefan Bratzel's opinion and $2.50 will buy you a small latté at most coffee shops.
     
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  3. if the Fiat boss wasnt prepared to purchase Ducatti for 1 mil EUr then i sure as eggs would have...1 Million Euro? i could have sourced that with ease hahahaa....sorry jsut being pedantic about the typo...bit of a big one but its obvious its wrong and doesnt impact the article as you have quoted the correct figures earlier and its not a glaring error. :)
     
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  4. @WizardsLore, it's a good thing I'm a writer and not a banker...

    Good catch - thanks!
     
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  5. @ Kurt, no problemo
     
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  6. Will sit very nicely along side their super car brand, Lamborghini
     
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  7. What's next? Ferrari?
     
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  8. doubt it. Ferrari are the second most profitable brand behind Porsche and the probably the only one that is making serious cash for Fiat. I think that if FIat sold up it would be big trouble for them. AS much as Fiat owns Ferrari....Ferrari really owns Fiat, well has them by the short and curlys thats for sure !
     
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  9. Love that ducati, awesome!
     
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