VW Eyes Sale of Ducati in Shift Away From Powersports

Photo by William Hoffman / Royal Media Group

Volkswagen might sell Ducati in a move to streamline operations and help fund a strategic overhaul, according to a published report.

Volkswagen is curbing spending across the group, including cutting thousands of jobs at its core VW brand, to help fund a shift to electric cars and new mobility services. It would also be a shift away from powersports.

VW, Ducati, and Audi declined comment for this story.

Investment banking firm Evercore has been tasked by VW to evaluate the possible options, including the sale of the Ducati brand. VW’s Audi division acquired Ducati in 2012 for about $935 million, according to the report.

Wolfsburg-based VW has started reaching out to potential buyers, but no decisions have been made on whether the brand will be sold, according to the report. Interested buyers could include India’s Hero, Chinese investors, or private equity firms.

It is unclear whether competitors such as Harley-Davidson Inc, Polaris Industries Inc., Kawasaki Motors Corp., Suzuki Cycles, or Honda Motor Co. might be interested in acquiring the Ducati brand.

VW might also consider an initial public offering for Ducati, if the brand does not attract sufficient buying interest, according to the report.

The news comes just two months after Ducati announced its new financing program, Ducati Premier Financing, which allows consumers to essentially lease a Ducati motorcycle — in some cases with both a lower monthly payment and down payment than a traditional loan.

The program, which launched March 1, applies to all 2017 Ducati models, including, for example, the recently released Multistrada 950 (for $169 per month) and the new Monster 1200 S (for $199 per month).

At the end of the term, owners have the option to sell the motorcycle privately, trade for a newer model, or pay it off. There are no wear-and-tear or mileage restrictions, and consumers can opt for a shorter trading cycle if they would like to trade-in for a newer model. Accessories can also be added.

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