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VW mulls selling Ducati to increase cash coffers following Dieselgate scandal

Motorcycle maker Ducati might soon find itself under a new owner. This comes as its current parent, the Volkswagen Group, is reportedly mulling selling the Italian company to obtain funds needed to finance unprecedented costs, like those related to the so-called Dieselgate scandal.

As reported by Reuters, citing two sources privy with the matter, Ducati’s sale is being considered as VW is embarking on a strategic overhaul following the Dieselgate scandal. VW has been trapped in billions of dollars of fines and taxes after the scandal. Likewise, the group is now shifting its focus to electric cars and new mobility services. These have prompted the German company to streamline its operations, with the effect of limiting spending across the group. For instance, the VW brand is cutting thousands of jobs to save more money and thus create more funds for its future projects.

Of course, VW is still looking for more options to acquire more funds. Thus, according to Reuters, it has tapped Evercore, an investment banking boutique, to evaluate more options – including the possible divestment of the Ducati brand. Bologna, Italy-based Ducati has been owned by German premium carmaker Audi, which is part of the VW Group, since 2012. However, there had been concerns that Audi’s acquisition of Ducati was just a reflection of the passion of former VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech for the biker maker’s vaunted expertise on design and light engines. In actuality, the acquisition – worth EUR860 million ($935 million) in 2012 – was seen to having no economic logic or even industrial reason. In fact, Ducati is considered as one of VW’s non-core businesses, so selling the Italian company wouldn’t hurt the group in the long term.

Read the entire article VW mulls selling Ducati to increase cash coffers following Dieselgate scandal

2016 Ducati bicycles by Bianchi are now available to purchase

Bianchi has announced the introduction of the 2016 range of Ducati branded bicycles. All of these bikes feature the common values and attributes of the Ducati and Bianchi brands – Italian design and style and advanced technological content.

The range now includes a number of new offerings including those from known segments like Mountain Bikes, Sport, Junior, Kids and E-bikes. Each segment has its own attributes and qualities. For instance, the Sport and E-bike models offer a good blend of innovation and tradition and are marked by modern and technological elements.

Junior and Kids models, meanwhile, take inspiration from the graphics of two distinct Ducati motorbikes – the Monster and the Hypermotard. Mountain Bikes, meanwhile, are laden with sporty features and elements.

Read the entire article 2016 Ducati bicycles by Bianchi are now available to purchase

Ducati introduces 2015 Monster Stripe editions

The Monster range will be even more exhilarating for 2015 with the addition of the Monster Stripe in 821 and 1200 S versions. The lineup already includes the 821, 821 Dark, 1200 and 1200 S. Via Ducati TriOptions finance, the Monster 1200 S Stripe can be acquired for prices starting from £135 per month. The same is true for the 1200 S.

Meanwhile, the standard Monster 1200 is more affordable at £119 per month. Furthermore, all new Monster 1200 models registered until September 30 qualify for a £750 Ducati Performance voucher. This voucher may be used on Ducati Performance clothing as well as accessories from official Ducati dealers. A unique red colour scheme of double white side-stripes can be seen on the Monster 1200 S and 821 Stripe.

They also get a red micro-fairing with windshield as well as a red frame and black wheels. Powering the Monster 1200 S is an 1198 cm³ Testastretta 11° DS engine that is capable of delivering a maximum output of 145 hp at 8,750 rpm and comes with Öhlins suspension front and rear.

Read the entire article Ducati introduces 2015 Monster Stripe editions

Ducati unveils 2015 Diavel motorcycle

The latest Ducati Diavel now boasts of a new engine and exhaust system as well as styling refinements that combine the sport cruiser’s muscular look with an elegance and sophistication. The new Diavel boosts Ducati's Performance Redefined mantra by employing latest technologies to ensure that the super cruiser is primed for super-smooth performance, improved comfort and usability.

Diavel will still be an icon for its custom shop styling, innovative design and state-of-the-art technology as well as extraordinary riding pleasure. The lightweight and agile yet domineering features the latest generation Testastretta 11° Dual Spark engine, LED illumination and ABS as well as Ducati Traction Control and Ducati Riding Modes.

The 162hp motorcycle’s dominant yet new styling perfectly complements the 205kg (452lb) of pure Ducati drives. Not only that, Ducati made sure that precision remains one of the Diavel’s attributes by combining a specially engineered 240 section rear tire with Ducati’s chassis technology – allowing its rider to experience extraordinary handling and lean angles that seem to go against the laws of physics.

Read the entire article Ducati unveils 2015 Diavel motorcycle

Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. posted a strong 2013, both in terms of new products and sales performance. The company sold more motorcycles in 2013 to 44,287 units, thanks to its sales network of 817 dealers across 88 countries. Boasting a workforce of 1,281 employees, Ducati recorded 51-percent of sales in Europe, 24% in North America and the remaining 25% in Asia and South America.

“We are very proud and satisfied with our results in 2013,” remarked Claudio Domenicali, chief executive of Ducati. “Despite market uncertainties, especially in Southern Europe, Ducati has achieved positive results, confirming the strength of our products and the appreciation of our brand.”

The company was able to achieve record results, selling over 44,000 motorcycles, helped by the launch of new models like the Hypermotard and 899 Panigale. Strong results in 2013 confirmed positive sales trends in emerging markets like Asia, which surged by 26 percent to 5,200 motorcycles sold.

Read the entire article Ducati logs strong 2013, is optimistic this year

The first six months of 2013 had been slow for Ducati UK, no thanks to poor weather conditions. Business, however, picked up in the second half of 2013, making it the best last six months in the last 10 years. Contributing to that second half surge are a number of factors like the new 899 Panigale receiving critical acclamations from the international press.

Thanks to that, Ducati posted high demand and sales despite the 899 Panigale only arriving in dealerships at the end of 2013. The 899 Panigale has received commendation for its impressive technical specification at an affordable price.

It also has become more affordable thanks to the current TriOptions finance packages – which have been a feature of Ducati UK’s marketing strategy over the last 12 months and will continue this year. TriOptions is the Ducati-branded Personal Contract Purchase plan than has enabled the company to offer a range of affordable packages.

Read the entire article Ducati UK posts strong business in second half of 2013

The Ducati 899 Panigale is now available at bike dealerships across the United Kingdom. The 899 Panigale is a “Supermid” version that Ducati plans to use to enter the world of premium performance. The 899 Panigale features increased seat cushioning and shorter final drive gearing for improved mid-range rideability.

The 899 Panigale is a product of a merger between authentic Italian performance with daily usability and practicability. The bike features the innovative “monocoque” frame solution as well as the new 899 “Superquadro” L-twin engine that employs race-derived electronics to personify the “bred for the track and trained for the road” mentality.

The 899 Panigale is also loaded with the Ducati’s Riding Mode concept that delivers performance through the combination of a number of class-leading technologies like the latest-generation sports ABS system, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Quick-Shift (DQS). It also boasts of Ducati’s race-derived Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW).

Read the entire article Ducati 899 Panigale now available at UK dealerships for £12,495

Italian bike maker Ducati has unveiled a for-Brazil-only Senna version of its 1199 Panigale S model at the Two Wheels Motorcycle Show in Sao Paulo. Ducati will build just 161 units of the limited edition series motorcycle -- signifying the total F1 Grand Prix raced by the Brazilian biking star Ayrton Senna. The legendary biker personally selected the special livery color during his visit to the Ducati site only a few weeks before his last race in Imola in 1994.

The color was later used for building the first series of 300 motorcycles designed to honor Senna in 1995. The first tribute was a 916SP finished in grey with red wheels – dubbed as “916 Senna I.” Two more versions -- the “916 Senna II” and “916 Senna III” – followed in 1997 and 1998, respectively. All three versions of the Ducati 916 Senna model were limited editions, making them a valuable item for collectors.

Ducati saw it fit to pay homage to Senna once by creating the 1199 Panigale S Senna, in close agreement with the Senna Foundation. Starting June 2014, the 1199 Panigale S Senna will don the special Senna colour scheme.

Read the entire article Ducati 1199 Panigale S Senna unveiled at Two Wheels Show in Brazil

A Ducati-powered XL1 was unveiled by Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech during a lecture at the University of Vienna. The model, which is dubbed the XL Sport, stands out due to an aggressive body kit that consists of a front splitter, a ventilated hood and extended fenders. It also has a set of unique alloy wheels and motorsport-inspired graphics.

Very few details have been released of the model. Piech said that it will be equipped by a Ducati-sourced 1200cc engine that delivers 190 HP (140 kW) and 123 Nm (91 lb-ft) of torque.

There’s no information yet about its performance but it’s reported that it is lighter than 795 kg (1752 lbs) due to its lightweight parts and the fact that it doesn’t have a plug-in hybrid system. There were speculations that a petrol-powered XL1 may soon enter production, but the XL Sport seems to be a concept or research vehicle.

Read the entire article Vw Chairman Ferdinand Piech shows the Ducati-powered XL1

Matteo Baiocco, the current Italian Superbike Champion, has inked a one-year deal to join the Moto Rapido Ducati team to try and grab the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship. Baiocco rode for Moto Rapido Ducati at Silverstone in 2012 as an injury replacement. He is returning for a full season with the blessing of Ducati, where he is an official test rider of the 1199 Panigale.

The 28-year rider expressed delight with the formalization of his agreement with team Moto Rapido. He noted that during 2012, he had the opportunity to Moto Rapido team and BSB, adding that he is excited to compete in the championship. He remarked that 2013 will be a very important season for him after securing victory in Italy, adding that he looks forward to the challenge of riding in BSB, which he describes as the best national series in the world.

He thanked Ducati Corse and Ducati UK and greeted British fans. He also thanked team principal Steve Moore for the opportunity. Moore, on the other hand, remarked that he is pleased to continue their project in BSB with Ducati, adding he is happy with signing Baiocco over the Christmas break. He noted that Baiocco is “quite a character,” and BSB fans will love him. 

Read the entire article Superbike champ Matteo Baiocco signs 1-yr deal with Moto Rapido Ducati

The Superbike 1199 Panigale received plenty of attention and accolades as soon as it debuted at the 2011 EICMA International Motorcycle Show in Milan. In fact, there’s no arguing that 2012 is the “year of the Panigale.” This high-tech model from Italian bike manufacturer Ducati earned the “Best Bike of the Show” award.

Since its launch, it had established new benchmarks in the motorcycle industry and received more than 30 major international acknowledgements and awards from the highly esteemed motorcycle publications and major lifestyle titles. Even when the motorcycle market has been declining, the 1199 Panigale has done very well in the showroom, just as it has on the road and track, with more than 7,500 motorcycles sold in 2012.

In addition, the sales performance acknowledges the energy and resources that Ducati has given for the continuous research and development of new product. With this approach, it has later enabled the company to attain record commercial and financial results in 2012. Ducati isn’t daunted by the challenging market and sluggish world economy as it persistently expands and boosts its market share, output and sales volumes.

Read the entire article 2012 is the year of 1199 Panigale, says Ducati

We learn more details about Audi’s acquisition of Ducati last July from its newly released 2012 Interim Financial Report. It’s remarkable that Lamborghini had bought Ducati but Audi will be controlling the two brands. It was initially announced that Audi paid for $1.12 billion as the buyout cost but it appears that the final buying price was just around $980 million according to the exchange rate at the time.

Actually, Ducati is a subsidiary of Lamborghini, which had paid for its acquisition. He said that by permitting Ducati to stay in Italian control instead of by the Germany officials, the move is tantamount to being symbolic. It’s also notable that Audi controls Lamborghini, which means that it controls Ducati.

This move is strategic for the Italian automaker, which faces fines as it works to cope with European’s strict standards on vehicle emissions. The combination of Ducati and Lamborghini meant that more vehicles will offer very low CO2 emissions. Lamborghini is offsetting the difference and avoiding several big fines. Audi may have bought the Ducati because of its small engine technology but aside from that, it’s regarded as a stylish business move.

Read the entire article Lamborghini is the real owner of Ducati, but Audi will be controlling the two brands

Audi expects to complete its EUR860 million ($1.06 billion) acquisition of Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. today. Juergen De Graeve, a spokesman for Audi, said that their colleagues in Bologna, where Ducati is based, are scheduled to make the announcement.

On April 18, 2012, Audi, a unit of the Volkswagen Group, disclosed plans to acquire Ducati from Investindustrial Advisors S.p.A., and was just waiting for approval from antitrust authorities. VW chair Ferdinand Piech has been longing to acquire Ducati. In fact, Piech publicly expressed interest in acquiring Ducati in April 2008, but was eventually outgunned by Investindustrial.

If the acquisition is realised today, Ducati will become the 11th brand in VW’s portfolio, which currently includes Lamborghini, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Scania and MAN. Earlier this month, the VW Group reached a deal to acquire the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche SE's automotive business that it doesn't own yet for EUR4.46 billion ($5.6 billion). The completion of that deal will see the addition of Porsche as the 12th brand in VW’s portfolio. Audi also owns other assets in Italy, including design and technology unit Italdesign, founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro who sketched the first Volkswagen Golf model.

Read the entire article Audi expected to sign EUR860-million Ducati acquisition today

Individuals who take a demo ride at any official Ducati dealers throughout the United Kingdom from April 14 to May 31 will be entered into a draw, which will give them the chance to ride a Ducati at the Ducati track day in Donington Park on July 31. The historic Donington Park is one of the best circuits in the world.

It is where Ducati achieved its first ever win in the World Superbike race. The park will be hosting a Ducati track day on July 31, 2012. The lucky winner of the draw will be able to ride a Ducati for the day. The campaign will be available at all 32 dealers in the country that have a selected array of bikes from the Ducati range such as the new 1199 Panigale, which is considered to be the pinnacle of Sportsbike riding.

 The Ducati range also offers various products for everyone. Those interested in touring and adventure can opt for the Multistrada, which integrates these elements with renowned Ducati engine handling and performance. A new product this year is the Streetfighter 848, which has smaller engine capacity and enhanced ergonomics that makes it a remarkably stimulating yet useable naked bike.

Read the entire article Demo riders get chance to ride a Ducati during track day at Donington

Audi has completed a due diligence assessment of Ducati and will proceed with the acquisition process next week, according to several sources. They also said that Audi didn’t meet any obstacles while it was reviewing the books of the Italian motorcycle maker. It’s believe that the purchase would be announced on April 18 at the earliest, one day before the annual meeting of the VW's annual shareholders in Hamburg.

A source said that Italian buyout firm Investindustrial, the main shareholder of Ducati, had agreed to negotiate with just Audi. So far, none of the companies have released a statement about this event. If Audi completes the deal, it will then be able to compete with BMW in the superbike segment. This will also raise its expertise in high-revving light engines and will boost VW's engineering portfolio, ranging from cars and heavy trucks and even to ship engines.

A report from Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera also indicated that the signing of the contract between Ducati and Audi will take place next week. Citing no sources, the paper said that Audi holds the right to negotiate exclusively until April 15, after which Investindustrial may enter talks with other possible buyers. It can be recalled that in 2005, Audi made an attempt to purchase Ducati from former owner Texas Pacific Group but it was beaten by rival bidder Investindustrial.

Read the entire article Sources: Audi plans to announce the acquisition of Ducati next week

Daimler AG denied a report by Corriere della Sera newspaper suggesting that it is interested in acquiring Italian motorcycle maker Ducati. A Daimler spokesman denied that the German carmaker has plans to acquire Ducati, saying that they have no interest in taking over the Italian motorcycle maker.

Another German carmaker, Audi is currently courting Ducati. Both companies are in advanced negotiations, Corriere della Sera reported. However, Ducati is still open enter to takeover talks with other interested parties.

Audi is close to acquiring Ducati for a takeover price of EUR870 million to EUR875 million, which is equivalent to around $1.16 billion to $1.17 billion, a source told Reuters last month.

Read the entire article Daimler denies media report that it wants to acquire Ducati

Ducati is preparing for the new riding season with the "Ducati Dream Tours" -- a weekend getaway that combines the pleasure of riding a Ducati unit across the renowned roads surrounding Bologna and the memorable experience of visiting the popular Italian motorcycle Factory and Museum. The adventure begins on Friday with lunch at the Ducati Factory, prior to a guided tour of the legendary home and Museum of Ducati motorcycles in Borgo Panigale, Bologna.

Guests can then pick up their pre-selected Ducati motorcycle and travel on a guided-ride through "Motor Valley", also known as the Apennines of Emilia Romagna, to the hotel of "Monte del Re" in Dozza.

The gorgeous hotel was converted from a classic 13th-century monastery. It is popular for its regional cuisine. On Saturday, guests can experience guided rides into the mountains along roads which official Ducati test riders themselves have recommended. Lunch will be held in the countryside before returning to the hotel riding a Ducati.

Read the entire article Ducati offers ‘Dream Tours’ in Bologna for a luxurious travel experience

Ducati and Diesel have launched the Monster Diesel with a dedicated Capsule Collection. This introduction signifies a new phase in these two companies’ alliance that began in 2011 with Ducati Team’s sponsorship in MotoGP. This new customized model is an ‘urban military chic’ version of Ducati’s iconic stripped-out motorcycle.

It will be revealed beside the new collection at the Diesel stores of New York-Soho on March 15, in Rome on March 22, and Tokyo-Shibuya on March 29. This Capsule Collection shows off what these brands are made of as well as their shared roots of innovation and creativity.

These are the major elements that allowed the two companies to be prominent icons of the “Made in Italy” tradition. As Ducati’s flagship Monster 1100EVO will supply the canvas for the new motorcycle creation, the stylists were guided to do a military inspired theme by Diesel’s founder Renzo Rosso and the Ducati Design Centre.

Read the entire article Ducati and Diesel launch the Monster Diesel

Although Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has said that the company has no plans to offer motorcycles, he may take back his words soon when the carmaker’s subsidiary, Audi, acquires Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, as suggested in reports. There is a chance that Audi may acquire Ducati. Here are some of them: 1) It is the wish of VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, whose words are considered as a command in the company.

Piech has expressed regrets after missing out on the chance to acquire Ducati "for peanuts" in the past. With another chance at sight, 74-year-old Piech is hell-bent to add Ducati among his collection of brands. 2) There is an ongoing rivalry with the top three premium carmakers in the world – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz -- all of them incidentally based in Germany. Audi’s success is partly thanks to its unabashed copycat approach, making similar moves as BMW, the world’s number one premium automaker.

BMW now has a successful motorcycle division; Audi is expected to follow suit. By acquiring Ducati, BMW could thwart any plans by Mercedes-Benz to take a crack at the Italian motorcycle maker. 3) The European Union has set a limit for carbon dioxide emissions at 95g/km. Carmakers that keep motorcycle divisions like BMW, Honda, Suzuki are hoping they could consolidate these low-CO2 emitting motorcycles into their fleet totals to make it easier to reach EU’s CO2 targe, says Autonewst. 4) BMW could take advantage of Ducati dynamic image as a strong brand; giving the carmaker an image boost. 5)  If Audi acquires Ducati, the VW Group could add motorcycle powertrains to its current engine portfolio.  VW currently builds engines for almost any vehicle like trucks and minicars. If Audi acquires Ducati, VW would have a chance to gain expertise on fuel-efficient motorcycles.

Read the entire article Piech’s desire to acquire Ducati seen as major reason for Audi’s plan

Ducati’s lightweight engine expertise, its racetrack pedigree and the unique sound and styling of its motorcycles are very likely the characteristics that have prompted Audi to enter talks to purchase the superbike maker. Audi is reportedly already in negotiations with the private equity group that controls the company about a purchase, according to two sources.

Getting the deal would mean that Audi would be able to extend its rivalry with BMW to superbikes. Volkswagen, Audi’s parent, would also benefit from Ducati’s know-how in producing high-revving light engines. This expertise may be applied to VW’s cars, heavy trucks, and even its ship engines. Notably, Audi has turned its Ingolstadt headquarters into a major research and development center for lightweight fuel saving technologies. Getting access to Ducati's engine technology would result to the addition of a new development dimension.

A source said that Audi is currently conducting due diligence and that the purchase may be completed by the middle of April. So far, none of the parties concerned -- Volkswagen, Audi and Ducati's main shareholder, Investindustrial – have commented on these reports. Founded in 1926, Ducati had gotten 17 manufacturer's World Championship titles in the last 60 years. It recently took home the 2011 World Superbike Championship award. Its famous owners include Ferdinand Piech, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, who obviously have a liking for its unique steel-framed machines powered by loud, barking engines.

Read the entire article Audi interested in Ducati due to its lightweight engine know-how