It's Official: Audi AG to buy Ducati Motor Holding
Audi is calling Ducati the third pillar for the German luxury automaker in Northern Italy, joining Lamborghini and Italdesign. Adding the popular and successful line of high performance motorcycles will not only launch Audi and the Volkswagen Group into an always-growing new segment in many markets around the world but it also gives Audi access to the engineering and technology behind these globally-known superbikes.
“Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles, “ said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.”
Audi’s statement proclaiming the purchase of Ducati stated particular interest in the “progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines”, along with the motorcycle markers expertise in lightweight construction methods. Audi will surely use the experience in chassis construction that comes with the Ducati brand to decrease the overall weight of future Audi sports cars.
In addition to purchasing the Ducati Motor Holding name, products and operations, the Audi buyout will include motorcycle production facilities in Bologna, Italy and in Thailand. Between those two plants and the other various branches of the Ducati brand, Audi looks to gain about 11,000 workers through this buyout. The purchase of Ducati also brings with it decades of motorsports success including 17 championships in the Superbike World Championship with the most recent win coming in 2011. Considering Audi’s activities in motorsports, we can expect to see the Ducati name continue to dominate the motorcycle racing world under the new management.
This also gives Audi AG a new segment in which to compete with country rival BMW, who has long offered their own lineup of different types of motorcycles. “We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi – and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati,” said Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council for Audi AG.
The exact terms of the purchase agreement between Audi AG and the Investindustrial Group have not been disclosed but Audi’s statement this morning announcing the purchase claims that the company will move to complete the transaction as quickly as possible, with the only stopping point right now being the various authorities. Provided that there are no snags in the legal end of things – Ducati motorcycles should soon belong the Audi AG. Once that purchase has been approved by everyone involved, we can expect to learn the full details of this major industry purchase.