Audi Acquires Ducati From Rival Mercedes-Benz
Ducati is known worldwide as a coveted motorcycle brand, with outstanding expertise in engine development and lightweight construction and has been building sport motorcycles since 1949. And the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, winning the manufacturers’ championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships and the pilots’ 14 times. And now, this heritage is a part of Audi AG. It is the third Italian company to be welcomed into the Audi family, with the other two being Lamborghini and ItalDesign-Giugiaro. Equally as important, Audi scooped the beloved motorcycle brand from Daimler AG, the parent company of rival Mercedes-Benz.
Audi emphasizes certain technologies developed by Ducati – particularly their expertise in control systems, combustion chamber process and competence in lightweight construction – as particular assets that “offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group.”
“Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. 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,” declared Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG. Aligning itself with the forward growth strategy of Audi is another reason behind the purchase of Ducati.
“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,” commented Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of Audi AG.
Ducati is a globally active company and has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna and at its own factory in Thailand. It maintains a series of importer companies in strategic markets. Experts predict that the motorcycle market will enjoy strong growth over the next few years, especially in Asia. In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million, employing around 1,100 people.
This acquisition does two key things for Audi. The first is that rival automaker Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, no longer has a motorcycle brand, let alone a storied brand of passion. Secondly, it allows Audi to more effectively combat arch-rival BMW, which also makes motorcycles as well as cars. Though we at Royal Oak Audi would like to know the opinions of our readers in the comment section below! Or take the discussion socially on our Facebook page.