Audi-Ducati links start to show

Sales push at World Ducati Week

Posted: 13 June 2012
by Visordown News

Audi bought Ducati back in April

THERE was some head-scratching about the potential benefits to the Volkswagen Group when its subsidiary, Audi, became the owner of Ducati earlier this year. Just what did the massive car conglomerate stand to gain by buying a niche bike firm?

Despite talk of technical collaborations, few really believed that Ducati engineers had much to offer that one of the world's biggest companies couldn't have achieved on their own, and Ducati is never likely to make any noticeable financial impact on VW's corporate wallet regardless of how well it performs in the future.

However, Audi and fellow VW subsidiary Lamborghini are set to have a big presence at World Ducati Week, starting at Misano on June 21-24. Why? Because Ducati riders like to go fast, often aren't short of a few bob and probably tend to prefer the finer things in life. How many might have a supercar sharing garage space with their Panigale? And how many might be persuaded to buy one from the VW stable?

Mercedes' performance arm, AMG, previously had links with Ducati, and presumably saw the same benefit. Since buying the whole firm represented little more than pocket change to VW, the benefit in simply getting existing Ducati owners to buy Audis or Lambos instead of Mercs or Ferraris could on its own be enough to justify the purchase.

The very choice of cars to appear at WDW shows how high-end Audi considers Ducati customers to be. There are no entry-level A1, A3 or A4 models, only the high performance S6 (£54k) and S8 (£77k) along with the R8 V10 supercar (£109k-plus). And Lamborghini will be showing its £180k-plus Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale and £250k Aventador LP 700-4 in the Misano paddock. And it wouldn't take too many extra sales of cars at that price level before Ducati might start looking like a very wise purchase indeed.

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Discuss this story

I don't freaking understand it: how much is even the most expensive Panigale compared to a 696 Monster? Maybe three times as much with options. The Panigale Tricoloure even compared with a standard GSXR1000 is only 2x as much.

And you're talking a difference of about £10 000 from GSXR1000 to Panigale or perhaps £18k to go from 696 Monster to 1199.

Whats the difference b/w an A3 diesel at £15k and an R8 V8 at £80k or so? £65k or FIVE times as much. The Lambos are even exponentially more expensive.

I'll never udnerstand why ppl consider Ducati to be such a premium product when teh difference b/w a Duke and a Japanese bike is only the difference b/w a poverty spec Ford Mondeo and a slightly more cofmortable one!

Posted: 13/06/2012 at 20:41

Service costs. Replacing the wires in Prince Harry's 1198 after mice chewed them cost £6k.

A proper oil change on even a 696, with the easiest and cheapest maintenance schedule of any ducati model ever made, is a solid $150+. A tank panel is $350+ before overseas shipping.

I turned a Honda into a crumpled ball of plastic and steel, and I was able to eBay enough parts to get it back to near perfect for only $1200. That's how much a single 696 exhaust costs. Good luck finding those parts on eBay for cheap.

It's the same reason so many people who win the lottery go bankrupt. People tend to forget that the finer things in life have upkeep.

Posted: 13/06/2012 at 23:30

Why not try to make the Ducati owner feel that they belong to the 'high end' of the biking spectrum.

It is Audi saying "Look at my Cock"... or rather "Look at my collection of 4 wheeled cocks"

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 12:49

Despite all the marketing blurb, I cannot see the "synergies" materialise between Audi and Ducati owners. There is a big difference between customers spending 20K on a bike and over 200k on a car.

From a Ducati rider's point of view, I hope the quality of Ducati motorcycles will improve thanks to the financial firepower of Audi/Volkswagen. Ducati's servicing charges, spare parts prices and availability still offer a lot of scope for improvement.

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 14:08

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