Like an overspending spouse whose partner has commanded they sell their toys to pay off debts, Volkswagen put all its options on the table earlier this year in a bid to raise some cash.
After mulling a sale of Ducati during the darkest days of Dieselgate, VW now plans to hang on to the brand. Recently taking action to curb costs and cut red tape, chief executive Rupert Stadler said the company is “gradually increasing our financial and organizational leeway.” Sounds like VW has found a few more coins amid the couch cushions.
reports Stadler has said there is no longer any economic need to sell Ducati, after asking The Man earlier this year to investigate options for raising funds. Saddled with the bills from its emissions scandal, the company went into full penny-pinching mode after shovelling over $20 billion to the United States in a bid to pay for its dark, sooty, diesel sins.
“I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.”
SEE ALSO: VW XL Sport Screams to 11,000 RPM With Ducati Power
Knee-deep in expensive zero-emissions projects and autonomous driving efforts, the auto maker needs all the dough it can get. Both the Ducati and Lamborghini lines are big cash cows for the company, as their lucrative profits help to pad the financial ledger in times of heavy cash outflow elsewhere in the organization.
Volkswagen Group’s Audi brand purchased Ducati for just under $1 billion in 2012, nearly 20 years after ex-VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch, a motorcycle enthusiast, passed on an earlier chance. Up to that point, the company had been passed around like a hot potato, having been bought and sold several times.
The real news, of course, is the expected arrival in 2019 of a Ducati section within the Mirabilandia theme park in Italy. Mirabilandia is like an Italian Disney World, except with what I imagine would be a lot more wine. Like the Ferrari park in Abu Dhabi, rollercoasters and simulators are planned, along with a Ducati showroom. A Ducati-themed park means, of course, that the rides will be costly to buy, temperamental to use, and expensive to repair.
However, it’ll look gorgeous and capture your heart during the three days of the year it’s running correctly.