In the on-going recovery from the Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen is considering selling Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, according to Reuters. Ducati was technically acquired by Lamborghini in 2012 which is owned by Audi which is owned by Volkswagen AG.
Volkswagen is cutting staff across the board and putting heavy investments into electric vehicles through their upcoming ID brand. This EV investment is necessary not only to stay competitive in the gradual industry shift towards electric cars but as a PR move to show VW is righting the wrongs they committed by cheating on emissions tests.
This is a tough choice for Volkswagen/Audi because Ducati is actually pretty profitable. With the bike brand growing their product line beyond just expensive supersport bikes with big sellers like the new Scrambler, they’ve been seeing decent volumes and profits in the past few years. Their estimated annual earnings before interest and taxes are about $108 million and the brand has a total estimated valuation of about $1.6 billion. Not bad considering Audi bought Ducati for $935 million just five years ago.
Despite how well things are going at Ducati, Volkswagen still needs to make a quick buck. Some say Ducati joined the Volkswagen family just because Ferdinand Piech wanted to add them to his corporate collection. Now that Piech is gone and Volkswagen needs money, selling the Italian bike brand would make financial sense. As VW shops around for a potential buyer, let’s just hope Ducati’s next owner lets them keep doing what they’re doing.