Ducati considers Harley-Davidson merge

Italian and US manufacturers could combine anytime

DUCATI MOTOR Holding, the listed Italian motorcycle manufacturer, would consider a merger with US-based Harley-Davidson 'anytime', said Enrico D'Onofrio, CFO.

A merger with the US giant would be totally complementary, he said, responding to speculation in the market the two firms had been in discussions. And while he declined to comment on the speculation, he did say that the two companies are similar in that they create recreational bikes consumers fantasise about. 'People want to buy a dream.'

Harley-Davidson has an older consumer profile, with an average age of 55, while Ducati owners are about 35, on average. Half of all Ducati owners in the US also own a Harley, D'Onofrio added.

"It's clear the market is consolidating. The Japanese own more than 80% of the market," D'Onofrio noted. He cited speculation regarding a Piaggio and Harley-Davidson tie-up, as well as a Piaggio and Ducati combination, which he said could both be logical scenarios. But for Ducati, D'Onofrio said: "If you ask me, the best scenario is Harley."