It's no secret that Ducati, without question the most famous of all Italian motorcycle manufacturers, is looking for a new owner. It's also a well-known fact that Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch has long been interested in adding Ducati to the VW Group's already massive stable of brands.

Here's where things get a bit muddy, though. According to a rather credible sounding report from CAR Magazine in the UK, the number one suitor for the Ducati brand is, not Volkswagen, but Audi. Of course, Audi is owned by VW, so it could be argued that Ducati would still be under the VW umbrella, but until now, Audi has never been mentioned as a potential buyer.

If rumors are correct, Ducati is hoping for a total purchase price of 850 million euros, or about 1.1 billion dollars – but that figure includes 800 million euros of debt, meaning the actual sale price of the brand itself would be just $65 million.

There are some intriguing synergies between Audi and Ducati that bear investigation. For starters, Audi has a bit of motorcycle heritage already with its former NSU and DKW brands. Second, Ducati has, in the past, positioned itself as the two-wheeled equivalent to Audi, whatever that means. And finally, having Ducati as its two-wheeled partner would give Audi yet another talking point in its longstanding rivalry with BMW.

Audi isn't the only serious suitor for Ducati. There's talk of potential ownership by India's Mahindra and Germany's Mercedes-Benz, who's own AMG performance division is a strategic marketing partner with Ducati as it is. Audi parent Volkswagen, too, is said to be in the running for a bid to own the famed Italian motorcycle marque.

Muddy waters, indeed. In any case, you can be sure that we'll keep you up to date with any more information on Ducati's future ownership as time goes on.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Atrellue Lyden Hende
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      2+ years ago Superbike (UK Mag) did an article on shite profit margins on bikes, and Duc was the worst with something around .5%. But interestingly, like other bike companies they garner profits other ways. For Duc, the article pointed to merchandise, replacement parts, and SBK sponsorship deals (again 2 years ago). Hard to believe such a small company could get 800 million under, but auto/bike manufacturing stopped being rational decades ago.
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can never have too many brands. Hey VW, I hear Lotus is available
      • 2 Years Ago
      An FYI, the former top man at Ducati NA is now in the same position at Lamborghini NA
      • 2 Years Ago
      of the companies listed, I think Ducati going to Audi would probably be the best.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can think of worse owners.
      • 2 Years Ago
      why not? widely unknown is that Audis forming brands of the Auto Union time were partly bike producer.. NSU, DKW etc... example the DKW RT125 is the most copyed bike of all time example the first ever Ymaha bike the YA-1 was a copy of the RT125 ...befor ww2 DKW was the worlds largesed motorbike producer...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ducati would make more sense owned by Ferrari, so then Ducs could have the prancing horse back..
        • 2 Years Ago
        wow you're so smart! why can't we have more superb executive minds like yours running industries!!!! ***turns off sarcasm***
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd rather see it purchased by Honda. It'd be win-win. Reliable AND attractive.
        Jeff DiCarlo
        • 2 Years Ago
        Half of Ducati's appeal is that they are a tiny company who took on and BEAT the huge Japanese conglomerate in racing. Ducati represents the anti-Honda. If they become a division of Japan Inc, it's game over.
        • 2 Years Ago
        You haven't kept up with Honda recently have you?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon disgust me.
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Audi stands for emotion, premium (and $$$) and they know how to push and handle italian brands. = WIN!
      Jeff Tripp
      • 2 Years Ago
      "total purchase price of 850 million euros – but that figure includes 800 million euros of debt, meaning the actual sale price of the brand itself would be just $65 million." 850-800=65?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Tripp
        1115.115 - 1050 = 65.115. Mixing units. 850 million EUROS minus 800 million EUROS is about 65 million DOLLARS.
          Jeff Tripp
          • 2 Years Ago
          No, you're right. I missed the dollar sign on the 65. I was thinking we were still talking Euros. ;-)
      • 2 Years Ago
      In a word: hubris. This signals the end of VW. They think anything they touch will turn to gold, and they're putting their money where their mouth is. Always a bad sign. I'm not predicting imminent doom. It'll take many years, more than a decade even. But this signals a peak from which they will only fall.
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