Audi’s battle with BMW is not going to be about car’s only in the near future, as Audi always teases BMW in nearly everything an opportunity had shown to compete with BMW motorcyles section the Motorrad, yup Audi is Interested in motorcycling by buying the Italian Brand Ducati.
Audi has struck an exclusive deal giving it first rights to buy Italian superbike manufacturer Ducati for around €200 million, and total purchase price might be about €250m-€300m.
This is a bold move by Audi, which sees the long-term advantage in moving into two wheels as well as four.
It’s all part of Project Eagle, another brainchild of Volkswagen group scion Ferdinand Piech. He has been eyeing up the opportunity of buying a prestigious motorcycle brand for some time, and considered reviving Horex, a German motorbike firm which made single- and twin-cylinder bikes from 1936 to 1956.
But Horex doesn’t have enough brand recognition, so when Bologna-based Ducati came up for sale the VW Group paid close attention. Especially since Mercedes-Benz recently entered into a cross-promotional deal with Ducati.
A small team of advisors has been formed in Ingolstadt under the Project Eagle name and they’re currently doing due diligence on the Ducati deal, the Germans will probably put no more than €50m to €100m on the table – but absorb the new partner’s substantial liabilities.
Ducati chairman Andrea Bonomi has in the past pointed out that he views ‘Ducati as the two-wheel equivalent of Audi’, a perception Ferdinand Piech would likely agree with. In 2008, Piech said it was a mistake not to have bought Ducati when the company was on the brink of brankruptcy before. Four years later, Volkswagen is now closer then ever to making the chairman’s vision complete.
Source : CAR