Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Audi was poised to sell Ducati – but Audi’s chief executive Rupert Stadler has finally confirmed its commitment to the iconic Italian brand.

Stadler explained that, Audi is working to reduce costs by €10 billion, cut red tape and deepen ties with fellow Volkswagen-owned brand Porsche, “gradually increasing our financial and organisational leeway for the strategic realignment.” He confirmed that there is no economic need to sell Ducati and said: “I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family. Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.”

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Earlier this year, Volkswagen asked banks to evaluate options for Ducati and transmissions maker Renk as the German automotive giant begins to make the shift towards electric and self-driving cars following its diesel emissions cheating scandal. But, VW’s powerful labour unions, supported by the controlling Porsche-Piech families, opposed the logic and need for asset sales given the group’s financial resilience.

However, investors and potential Ducati buyers expect that VW could change its mind again, eventually opting to sell the asset which has the least strategic importance to VW. An undisclosed source said: “For Volkswagen’s powerful works council it could be an easy bargaining chip they could offer to push through something completely different.”

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So, despite Audi’s commitment to Ducati for now – there’s no knowing what’s in store for the future of the iconic Italian brand.

Ross Mowbray

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