If earlier today it was just a rumor, now it became official: Audi is acquiring from Investindustrial Group the Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. According to the German manufacturer, the transaction will be completed as soon as possible one it will be authorized by the competition authorities. The deal was approved today by the Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG in Hamburg. Audi currently owns traditional Italian brands such as Lamborghini and Italdesign, and Ducati will be company’s third pillar. Ducati had a revenue of €480 million back in 2011, as it sold around 42,000 motorcycles.
The Italian motorcycle manufacturer has 1,100 employees. The company was founded back in 1926 by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna and was known originally as Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati and built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949. Ducati is also an important player in the World Superbike Championship as it won the 2011 title and over the 60 years of activity it won 17 manufacturer's World Championship titles.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, declared: “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.” 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 for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group.