VW set to put Ducati up for sale as part of a package deal with Lamborghini

Volkswagen prepares the 'for sale' sign for Ducati as part of a potential package deal that will group it with supercar firm Lamborghini

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S

Volkswagen has all but confirmed it is hoisting the ‘for sale’ sign up over Ducati as part of a brand reorganisation that will streamline its company and focus predominantly on producing greener, mass-market automobiles.

Rumours circulating in September suggested VW - which has owned Ducati since 2012 - was pondering the future of the brand within its quarters and would be discussing it at the annual meeting due to take place this month.

As anticipated, word from the talks - as reported by Reuters - are that this is now going ahead but instead of trying to off-load Ducati as a single entity, it is in the legal process of spinning off the company into a single Italian structure that includes top-end automobile brand Lamborghini and engineering arm Italdesign.

“We are, let’s say, bringing it into a legal structure where we could act … it’s probably a bit of a slower process, but it’s on our agenda,” VW CEO Herbert Diess told Reuters.

Whether this will see Ducati and Lamborghini forge closer ties in a post-VW existence remains to be seen, though it’s likely interested parties would still be able to cherry pick one of them if they wanted to. 

What does VW sale mean for Ducati?

In a market where the likes of Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki can fall back on their sprawling manufacturing background and market shares in various industries to make up for any shortcomings on the two-wheel side, Ducati arguably needs a big spender above it to keep the lights on, or at least the (sales) volume up.

That said, while VW’s ownership marked a new era for Ducati, it has largely gone about its business without too much obvious input - beyond finance - from the German company.

While not directly affected by the international ‘Dieselgate’ scandal of 2015, Ducati was harmed by the ripple effects of the company undergoing a massive backroom upheaval that almost overnight completely changed VW’s future policies.

Five years on and these effects continue on as VW looks directly to the next five years with a plan to electrify its brands, an area that inevitably is at odds with Ducati’s future in a motorcycle segment not exactly accelerating towards ‘zero emissions’ needs.

It is for that reason there that means putting Ducati up for sale right now might make it a hard sell to any other big name brand, at least on the four wheel side. Nonetheless, the strength of the brand name and rising global sales still makes it a very attractive proposition.

It remains to be seen if someone is foolhardy enough to take it and Lamborghini on at the same time, but it does make us wonder what a ‘LamboCati’ mash-up at least looks like...