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Why VW's Herbert Diess could be good for Ducati...

VW's new boss made some bold, smart moves when he was head of BMW Motorrad

While the new overall boss of Ducati’s masters at the VW Group is known for his ruthless cost-cutting approach, Herbert Diess'  appointment could prove to be a blessing for the Italian firm.

Although the news of his appointment has understandably renewed talk that niche elements of the VW Group – like Ducati – could be in the firing line, Diess is also a motorcyclist.

Formerly the boss of BMW’s Motorrad division, while there he put into place the strategy that transformed the company’s products from bland and boring tourers aimed at the pipe-and-slippers brigade to one of the most diverse and effective ranges currently on the market.

His tenure saw the transformation of the GS from the slow-selling 1150 to the market-dominating 1200. He green-lit the S1000RR, too – a bike that was unimaginable when he first took the reins at BMW Motorrad in 2003.

He rides for pleasure, too, not just because it was required for the job; it would be surprising if he hasn’t already got some of Ducati’s products in his own garage.

At the end of the day, Ducati’s future with VW will still depend on its own performance; Diess is sure to be tough on any brand in the portfolio. But he’s a man who understands motorcycles and motorcycling. He’s got a proven track record of taking bold decisions that turn out to be correct.

That – and the fact that since he joined VW too late (in 2015) to be implicated in the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal that’s tarnished so many of the firm’s other top execs – put him into the prime spot for the top job at the company.

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