At this point, we're going to go ahead and file this one away in the Highly Unlikely File, but here we go anyway. According to Autocar, the recent tie-up between AMG, Mercedes-Benz's high-performance division, and Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati could eventually lead to a full-blown takeover of the two-wheeled brand by its new German partners.
For now, all AMG and Ducati are saying is that they are looking at further ways to combine forces in mutually beneficial ways, which will soon include AMG sponsorship of Ducati's MotoGP racing efforts. According to "inside sources" at Ducati, however, Autocar suggests that the partnership could lead to AMG-branded, Italian-built motorcycles as a way to improve the "green" image of the three-lettered in-house tuners of three-pointed stars.
The British magazine's unnamed "insiders" also suggest that many employees at the Bologna-based factory would welcome AMG's ownership and the newfound resources it would bring. Just so long as it's not another so-called merger of equals... Click past the break for the full press release from Ducati announcing the current partnership.
Los Angeles (USA) – Ducati and AMG will work together closely in the future. The initial aim of the cooperation
between the performance brand from Affalterbach and the Italian manufacturer of high-performance motorcycles is to
develop common marketing activities. The cooperation agreement was signed today, during a press conference
at the Los Angeles Auto Show, by Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A and Ola
Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
"We are especially proud to have AMG as one of our sponsors for the Ducati MotoGP Team. I am also very pleased
that our joint marketing activities are well under way. In AMG we have found a partner who perfectly reflects our brand
values of high performance, motorsport, excitement and our sense of unmistakable style and design," said Gabriele del
Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
"I am very pleased that we are able to announce our strategic cooperation with Ducati today. AMG and Ducati ideally
complement each other, as both companies share the same values: racing as the driving passion, and high
performance plus exclusivity as the central brand messages of both AMG and Ducati. This long-term cooperation will
help us to jointly access new customer groups," said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The first visible results of the cooperation between Ducati and AMG will be joint marketing and sponsoring activities.
AMG will support the Ducati MotoGP Team as the Official Car Partner from 2011, for example. During selected AMG
events, participants will be able to test ride Ducati motorcycles, and Ducati customers will similarly have the opportunity
to familiarise themselves with the latest AMG high-performance cars at events.
Joint events are planned for the members of the AMG Private Lounge, in which more than 13,000 AMG customers
worldwide are registered. The partners are currently examining the further activities and strategic steps they might
undertake together in the near future.
Ducati and AMG: racing, high performance, exclusivity
Founded in 1926, Ducati has been producing sport-inspired motorcycles since 1946. Their motorcycles are
characterised by "Desmodromic" performance engines, innovative design and avant-garde technology. Covering
several market segments, Ducati's range of motorcycles are divided into model families which include: Desmosedici
RR, Hypermotard, Monster, Multistrada, Streetfighter, Superbike and the brand new Diavel. These authentic icons of
"made in Italy" are sold in over 80 countries around the world, with concentration on the European, North-American and
Japanese markets. Ducati is currently involved in both the World Superbike Championship and, with an official team,
the World MotoGP Championship. In Superbike Ducati has won 16 of the last 20 Manufacturers' titles as well as 13
Riders' titles. Ducati have participated in MotoGP since 2003, and took both the Manufacturers' and Riders' titles in
AMG was founded in 1967, and is seen as a pioneer in motorsports and performance enhancement. In the following
years AMG developed from a two-man operation to a company of worldwide renown. Numerous racing victories,
technological tours de force born of the racetrack, unique high-performance cars and an unmistakable brand
experience such as e.g. the AMG Driving Academy have come together to form a decidedly exclusive brand image.
Founded in 1999, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is an autonomous vehicle manufacturer. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Daimler AG, AMG is responsible for all development processes relating to the chassis, engine, suspension, brakes,
electronics, aerodynamics, interior and design, right up to final approval of the complete AMG car. Mercedes-AMG
GmbH also manages all marketing and sales related aspects in its own right.
The SLS AMG as a masterpiece in AMG's history
The SLS AMG presented in 2009 is an automotive masterpiece from Mercedes-AMG GmbH. As the first automobile
independently developed by the company, the super-sports car is the highlight in AMG's more than 40-year history. It
not only takes AMG into a new era, but also demonstrates development expertise of the very highest order.
AMG's special focus is on the heart of any automobile, namely the engine. The company's core expertise in developing
and producing powerful engines has been assiduously perfected right from the start. In the ultra-modern AMG engine
shop, highly qualified specialists follow the traditional "One man - one engine" philosophy to produce high-performance
AMG V8 and V12 engines to the
highest quality standards.