Selling Ducati no longer necessary, says Audi boss

Germany’s Audi has abandoned plans to sell its Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, its chief executive has said, in a sign of confidence that the carmaker expects to be able to carry the costs of its transformation.

Steps to reduce costs by €10bn, cut red tape and deepen ties with fellow Volkswagen-owned brand Porsche are “gradually increasing our financial and organisational leeway for the strategic realignment,” said Rupert Stadler.

There is therefore no economic need to sell Ducati, Mr Stadler said.

Volkswagen asked banks to evaluate options for Ducati and transmissions maker Renk earlier this year as seeks to become more nimble in its shift towards electric and self-driving cars following its diesel-emissions cheating scandal.

“I can assure you Ducati belongs to the Audi family. Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes,”said Mr Stadler.

The plans had already stalled in the summer when Volkswagen’s powerful labour unions, backed by the controlling Porsche-Piech families, opposed the logic and need for asset sales given the group’s financial resilience.

Audi, which owns Ducati and Italian supercar maker Lamborghini, last month reported higher operating profit and revenue for the first nine months, helped by growing auto demand in the higher-margin western European and US markets.


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