Apparently to be a cool automaker in Europe, you have to build motorcycles. Volkswagen Group bought Ducati in 2012, and BMW has made bikes longer than it's made cars (until recently, it also owned Husqvarna). Fiat might be the next automaker to get into the two-wheel business, with rumors flying that it is considering buying cash-strapped Italian sportbike brand MV Agusta.

At the moment, it's all still very much a rumor, but the purchase would certainly seem to help the motorcycle company. However, according to Asphalt and Rubber, the business would need a lot of cash to grow and sustain itself. Fiat might not want to invest so much into a brand that may never be a huge moneymaker.

MV Agusta is best known for its racing success in the '50s and '60s. Until Japanese manufacturers took over the sport, the Italian company was one of the fastest things on two wheels, with a long list of championships in various classes. Recently, it was briefly owned by Harley-Davidson.

Still, Fiat would likely only have to pay a fraction of the rumored $1.1 billion that Audi plunked down to acquire Ducati. MV Agusta is a much smaller brand with fewer sales, and Sergio Marchionne has proven himself to be a canny negotiator – he might be able to add another brand to the company for a steal.

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