The publish-Dieselgate disaster that stormed the VW Group has stored Audi-owned Ducati on a curler coaster. For about two years, a “on the market” signal was cyclically placed on after which taken off the manufacturing unit’s important gate of the Bologna-based mostly make.
Many elements generated a sequence of contradictory occasions or, extra appropriately, speculation about the perfect use the group might make of Ducati, its non-automotive element that many on the board considered non-strategic.
Ducati was included into Audi in 2012 after CEO Ferdinand Piech determined the desmo make can be an ideal present for his seventy fifth birthday. When Dieselgate implied an enormous monetary loss, the board thought-about promoting each Ducati and MAN Diesel & Turbo to fill the opening.
After Piech misplaced energy, Ducati turn out to be disposable. It was unofficially put available on the market for 1.5 billion euros. Therein lay the primary objection: Though that quantity exceeded VW’s preliminary funding, it might barely scratch the anticipated 25 billion euro Dieselgate outlay.
Potential consumers however lined up on the gate: Investments Financial institution Evercore, SIAC from China, and Hero Motor from India. Former proprietor Andrea Bonomi’s Investindustrial and American manufacturers Harley-Davidson and Polaris have been additionally alleged to point out curiosity.
New VW Group CEO Matthias Muller was decided to scale back paperwork and minimize prices whereas launching a radical program of electrification of the VW mannequin vary. His environment friendly coverage slashed prices by about 10 billion euros—a constructive signal for Ducati.
Consequently, Ducati was allowed to stay underneath the Audi wing; even the highly effective German IG Metall unions opposed the sale of the model. However shortly after that call, SIAC and Bajaj resurfaced, together with a really credible Italian group: Benetton.
Ducati’s future remained within the stability on a tightrope till this previous December, when present Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed that the thought of promoting Ducati had been utterly canceled. This, he stated, is last.
That the Panigale V4 had already acquired a inexperienced mild from Audi prime administration ought to have signaled to all concerned that the state of affairs had reached a big turning level. And with that ends yet one more Italian comedy.