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Daimler to buy into MV Agusta?

How German one-upmanship could give MV a new future

IF you pay any attention to the goings-on in the world of four wheels then you’ll be know that there’s a never-ending fight for supremacy between Germany’s three major car makers; BMW, VW and Daimler.

The fight actually encompasses many more car brands. VW owns Audi, SEAT, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and Bugatti. BMW’s empire includes MINI and Rolls Royce, and Daimler’s includes Mercedes-Benz and its high-performance sub-brand Mercedes-AMG, among others. 

Until a couple of years ago, BMW was the only one to have any two-wheeled activities, but since VW bought Ducati (to hold under its Audi arm, which also looks after Lamborgini), Daimler has become the only one not to have a motorcycle division. That’s something rumours from Germany and Italy suggest is set to change, with the firm reportedly in talks to buy a substantial minority stake in MV Agusta.

Daimler’s interest in bikes actually goes back a little further. Prior to the VW/Audi takeover, Mercedes-AMG was a major sponsor of Ducati, and it’s already shown a concept scooter under the Smart brand. It’s understood that AMG was in the running to buy Ducati outright, only to be gazumped by VW back in 2012.

There’s no official statement from either Daimler or MV Agusta regarding the latest rumours, but MV was already planning to go public next year by offering around 30% of the firm on the stock exchange.

A deal between MV and Daimler, should it come together, could be of huge value to MV, giving it access to world-class R&D facilities and Daimler’s high-end technology. For Daimler, the deal would provide a ready-made two-wheeled arm encompassing more than one brand (MV also owns the Cagiva name) and a range of modern, well-regarded bikes to compete with Ducati and BMW’s two-wheelers.

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