Jan 9, 2016

Where’s Ducati Now?

Amid the speculation about whether VW will survive Diesel Gate’s 500,000 to 11,000,000 (You read that number right. 11,000,000 vehicles and at least $9B!) firmware-hacked vehicles has been a little guesswork about which of the company’s many funky brands will be spun off or scrapped (Volkswagen’s 12-brand behemoth under scrutiny as costs of scandal mount). VW/Audi owns a lot of silly shit, not just Ducati but Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Scania, MAN, Skoda and Seat (truck brands). It is pretty obvious from looking at that list that a whole lot of VW’Audi’s holdings are more about prestige than profit. With billions of $ and euros and £ on the line, a whole lot of people and assets are going to be put on the auction block. Since the VW CEO’s exit won’t be saving the company any money, after he launders his $67M golden parachute, somebody is going to have to bite the bullet and the obvious place to cut costs will be on non-profitable hobby businesses: like Ducati. Who knows? Audi might even have to sell it’s soccer team.

Ducati has always been some rich guy’s hobby store. A “business” makes money and Ducati has never been profitable. Like recording studios, Ducati is a black hole in which to toss your trust fund. VW/Audi, however, is a business and without those billions of spare cash to toss around, I think Ducati is about to end up in the hands of another idle rich kid.

3 comments:

Brad Sinn said...

I sure hope so, my ST2 still needs trust-fund support. On a related note, is it just me or are motorcycle dealerships all vile places to visit now? When I lived in KC, MO ('90-2001)and had my BMW a trip to Engle Motors was enjoyable. Coffee, people who knew about, and liked to talk about, motorcycles. Now, when I go get parts for my 15-year old Ducati they barely tolerate my presence. If the motorcycle industry wants to ensure that they eventually have no customers they're going about it quite well.

Brad Sinn said...

For clarification, the vile places aren't Engle Motors. I don't live anywhere near the place anymore. I have been to various dealers (new and used) for parts and oggling and they are all the same crappy experience. Kind of like visiting a car dealership only without the professionalism.

Thomas Day said...

Apt observations, Brad. My local dealer used to be a Suzuki dealership on Highway 61 in Maplewood. I only bought parts there, but they always recognized me and couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. They closed in the Great Recession and I hadn't found a replacement until I moved to Red Wing. Our Big Four dealer here is a pretty decent place, but not really a hangout.