Will Ducati be sold after all? That is the question that has cropped up once again, after several rumours and speculations of the Italian brand’s imminent sale over the past year or so. And now, rumours of the sale of Ducati have again re-surfaced, and this time, thanks to the comments of Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess to Bloomberg TV. The Volkswagen Group owns Ducati, and the comments of Diess don’t specifically say that the Italian brand will be up for sale, but he doesn’t rule out the sale of the brand altogether as well.
Volkswagen has been reeling from losses in billions of Euros after the ‘dieselgate’ scandal of 2015, and it’s been widely reported that the firm has been planning to sell off some of its assets, including its motorcycle brand, Ducati. While those plans seemed to have been cancelled last year, the latest comments have once again sparked speculation that Ducati may be up for sale after all.
“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”, implying that Ducati may be up for sale once again. And another statement from the Volkswagen Group not ruling out divestments in “non-core businesses” have only sparked more fire to the speculation about Ducati’s sale once again.
But if Ducati is indeed up for sale, which companies have the capability and capital to manage and own such an iconic brand? As in the past, two rapidly growing two-wheeler companies are best suited to have Ducati in their portfolio, and both are of Indian origin. The first – Hero MotoCorp, is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, and acquiring a brand like Ducati will only increase Hero’s brand equity in the global stage.
The other important brand is also Indian, and is none other than Royal Enfield, which will soon enter the premium middleweight market with its two brand new offerings – the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. An acquisition of a brand like Ducati will only strengthen Royal Enfield’s aspirations to be a significant and strong global player in the motorcycle market. All this of course, is still speculation, and it remains to be seen if Ducati, considered the most valuable motorcycle brand in the world, will get a new buyer after all. But if it does happen, it will involve quite a bit of capital, and could possibly become one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of motorcycles.