Audi CEO abandons plans to sell motorcycle brand Ducati

Images of Ducati XDiavel

Germany’s Audi has abandoned plans to sell its Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, its CEO Rupert Stadler stated, in a sign of confidence that the automaker anticipates to be able to bring the expenses of its transformation.

Steps to lower costs by 10 billion euros ($ 11.8 billion), cut red tape and deepen ties with other Volkswagen-owned brand Porsche are “gradually increasing our” monetary and organizational freedom for the tactical realignment, CEO Rupert Stadler informed reporters.

That’s why there is no financial need to sell Ducati, Stadler stated. Volkswagen asked banks to assess options for Ducati and transmissions maker Renk previously this year as seeks to become more active in its shift towards electric and self-driving vehicles after its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

“I can assure you that Ducati comes from the Audi family,” stated Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium viewpoint in the world of motorcycles.”

The strategies had already stalled in the summer when VW’s effective labor unions, backed by the managing Porsche-Piech families, opposed the reasoning and need for asset sales given the group’s monetary strength.

Investors and potential Ducati buyers, however, anticipate that the automaker could change its mind once again and eventually decide to sell the asset which they say has least strategic value to the automaker.

“For Volkswagen’s effective works council it could be a simple bargaining chip they could use to push through something entirely different,” a person knowledgeable about the matter stated.

Investors have long preferred divestments to simplify Volkswagen’s group structure and to enhance its management’s capability to push through structural modifications against the unions’ wishes.

Audi, the owner of Ducati and Italian supercar maker Lamborghini, last month reported higher operating profit and earnings for the first 9 months, helped by growing auto demand in the higher-margin western European and U.S. markets.

While pushing the expensive shift to zero-emissions and autonomous technologies, holding on to the successful Ducati division and the financially rewarding Lamborghini has ended up being more vital, Stadler stated.

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