There aren't a lot of automakers that also make motorcycles: Peugeot, Honda, Suzuki, and perhaps most pertinently, BMW. And now Audi is getting in the game – not with its own four-ringed motorbikes, but with today's acquisition of Ducati.

In the announcement just released, Audi confirmed the deal but stopped short of confirming the reported purchase price of $1.1B. Although Audi is, of course, part of the Volkswagen group, it is Audi AG itself that officially bought the motorcycle manufacturer, making Ducati the third Italian operation under its umbrella alongside Lamborghini and ItalDesign-Giugiaro.

Tellingly, Audi also points to certain technologies developed by Ducati – particularly their control systems, combustion chamber process and competence in lightweight construction – as particular assets that "offer great potential for AUDI AG and the Volkswagen Group." Read more in the official release after the jump.
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AUDI AG acquires sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

- Chairman Rupert Stadler: "As a sporty, global premium brand, Ducati is an excellent fit for Audi."
- Third pillar for AUDI AG in Italy
- Ducati a leading player in engine technology and lightweight construction

Ingolstadt/Bologna, April 18, 2012 – AUDI AG is acquiring from Investindustrial Group the tradition-steeped Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., which has its registered office in Bologna. The transaction will be completed as quickly as possible once authorized by the competition authorities. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition today in Hamburg. Ducati is known worldwide as a leading brand in motorcycle manufacture, with outstanding expertise in engine development and lightweight construction.

Alongside the traditional Italian brands Lamborghini and Italdesign, Ducati is now a third pillar for AUDI AG in Northern Italy. Another building block in the Company's growth strategy thus falls into place. 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.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, explains that the employee representatives of AUDI AG support the Company's sustainable, co-determined growth strategy. "We must use the opportunities offered by globalization for Audi – and that's exactly what we're doing. Everyone at Audi is looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Ducati," commented Mosch.

Ducati is a globally active company and has manufacturing operations at its headquarters in Bologna and at its own factory in Thailand. It maintains a series of importer companies in strategic markets. Experts predict that the motorcycle market will enjoy strong growth over the next few years, especially in Asia. In 2011, Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million, employing around 1,100 people.

The company was founded by Adriano and Marcello Ducati in Bologna in 1926. Known originally as Società Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati, it initially built parts for radios. It ventured into the manufacture of motorcycles in 1949.

Ducati has been actively involved in motorcycle racing for many decades through its racing division Ducati Corse. Its racing activities are currently focused on the Ducati official factory team in the MotoGP class of the Motorcycle World Championship and in the Superbike World Championship, supporting competitive private teams. Ducati won the manufacturers' championship in this latter class 17 times in 21 championships and the pilots' 14 times.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      lorenzo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does this mean they will be able to use motorcycle engines as onboard generators for their upcoming plug-in hybirds - like BMW is doing with the i8?
      muspod
      • 2 Years Ago
      Get a Ducati now before Audi ruins those too!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Doug Utz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Excellent. Now Ducati owners will now know what a CEL is.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is crazy how whacked our value system has become where a pointless internet photo filter company sells for essentially the same amount as this manufacturer of high performance motorcycles.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not that Ducati could offer more than a history and a crapload of hype (let's face it, Japan won), but I still think VW's ownership devalueates the Ducati brand massively.
        Moreno636
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Why in the world would being part of a group that contains Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Bently devalue the brand???
          quuppa70
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Moreno636
          because they has lost their roots, couple of years more and there is nothing Italian left, lambo engines are already now partly Audi, Bugatti is just brand and even Bentley is using german parts..
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        [blocked]
      Evan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ducati's only worth $100 million more than Instagram? That's so weird.
      Moreno636
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome! Let's hope they do for Ducati what they did for Lamborghini!
        Schuckert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Moreno636
        Let's hope not! All bikes will look the same and no one think of them as italian. No heart, no flair.
          quuppa70
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Schuckert
          yes lets hope not, audi engines in ducati doesnt sound good..
          1STH
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Schuckert
          LOL.....Lamborghini was a failed company with awful products until Audi took it over. It's always hilarious when people who don't know anything about cars comment as if they have it all under their belt....HILARIOUS>
          Hek!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Schuckert
          You are either deaf & blind or you just haven't had any exposure to any newer Lambos =(
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Alright, can't wait to see a motorcycle with an enormous ugly grill on it.
      quuppa70
      • 2 Years Ago
      NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Justin B.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of all the potential buyers, Audi was THE best choice. A great fit I think!
      Jan Calloway
      • 2 Years Ago
      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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