VW Follows BMW into the Motorcycle Realm
Audi acquires sports bike manufacturer Ducati.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - May 5, 2012
The super hot Ducati Superbike 1199 Panigale S and Audi R8 are now one and the same. From a manufacturers perspective anyway ;)
Audi is acquiring Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati after the Supervisory Boards of Audi and Volkswagen approved the acquisition late last month in Hamburg.
Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for Audi in Northern Italy.
“Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sport motorcycles," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi. "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."
The progressive control systems and special combustion chamber process of Ducati engines, their resulting sporty character, and Ducati’s extensive know-how in lightweight construction thus offer great potential
Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 Lineup
Ducati is a very well known entity with a historic if not prolific past when it comes to bikes. Today it is best known for its award winning go anywhere Ducati 1200 Multistrada and outstanding 1199 Panigale S with an over the top 195 HP twin cradled in a strong, lightweight and track ready aluminum alloy monocoque derived platform. Think of it as TNT on wheels with the fuse lit and you have an idea as to its capability.
Ducati’s 1199 Panigale S
Ever ride pure fire? This is as close as it gets :rolleyes:
The company was founded by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna, Italy in 1926. Known originally as Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati, it initially built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949.
Ducati has been actively involved in motorcycle racing for decades through its racing division. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams. Ducati won the manufacturers’ championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships and the pilots’ 14 times.
Ducati is a globally active company and has manufacturing operations at both its headquarters in Bologna and its factory in Thailand.
In 2011, Ducati sold approximately 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some $630 million USD while employing 1,100 people.
Let us hope Audi keep their hands out of Ducati’s day to day operations. Ducati is currently in the midst of resurgence thanks to motorcycle guys with motorcycle blood at the helm. Luxury performance car guys taking over a bike manufacturer could spell disaster for the business if they do not handle this one just right.
My thoughts, Audi should have kept what powder they had dry for another automobile acquisition, additional product offering or production facility. We will see how this turns out over the next decade but I have reservations.
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