After a year of back and forth, it would turn out, Ducati might actually be up for sale again. This is despite the fact that the Italian maker of luxury two-wheelers, which Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said may be sold, trumped all other sales except cash cow Porsche in terms of first-half profitability. The Company noted operating return on sales surged to 9.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent, even as deliveries declined. Interestingly while these numbers still trailed behind Porsche’s 18 per cent, left the other brands under Audi, Bentley and Skoda in the tailwind. These strong figures driven by Ducati’s diversified product portfolio, and Ducati’s new tag of being the most valuable motorcycle brand in the world, might just be the build-up sweeten the pot for potential buyers, especially considering that VW had announced an asset review about 2 years ago, and is yet to part ways with even a single asset. Diess rekindled the flame, saying that they will either expand or sell Ducati. “Either we find a way forward for Ducati, which provides some growth” and expand the brand, “or we have to look for a new ownership,” he said
Herbert Dies's comments have been in-line what he said right after taking the job at VW in April from Matthias Mueller. Reiterating the point shows Diess is sticking to his guns after deliberations last year to sell the manufacturer failed due to push back from labour unions and the owner family. Front runners to buy Ducati last year, included the likes of Hero Motorcycles and Royal Enfield. In fact, prior to their association with Triumph Motorcycle, even Bajaj was rumoured to have showed interest.
As of now, it is still unclear whether any Indian brands will get in the running for the Italian superbike manufacturer. We expect to hear soon as to whether there is a chance that the Italian manufacturer will find ownership in India. Watch this space for more!
Inputs From: Bloomberg