We’ve all heard Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and how the company is being targeted by regulatory investigations around the world after the emissions cheat was discovered. Well now rumor has it that Dieselgate could push Volkswagen to unload a few of their non-core assets including Ducati.
Nothing is concrete yet but, Bloomberg has reported that Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller plans to assess Volkswagen’s portfolio of 12 brands and re-evaluate the corporation’s future development strategy. Shifting away from expanding the company, VW will now look towards developing electric vehicles and brands that contributed to weak profits even before the scandal could be on the chopping block.
As a motorcycle enthusiast, former VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch had always wanted to acquire Ducati but he passed up an opportunity to do so in 1984. It wasn’t until 2012 that the opportunity came up again and the Italian motorcycle brand was purchased by the Volkswagen Group for around 860 million euros ($966 million). Morningstar analyst Richard Hilgert, said that “Ducati is a well-revered brand and could be worth a pretty penny.” If VW sold the brand, they could potentially recoup their initial purchase price.
On paper, Ducati seems to be pulling its own weight by raking in €702 million in revenue last year for €54 million profit but the Volkswagen Group is a €213 billion company so Ducati only accounts for 0.3% of the group’s overall revenue.
Ducati will probably be fine even if it’s no longer under Volkswagen but we’ll have to wait and see where VW decides to go from here.