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Old 04-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
Predwolf
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Default VW/Audi to buy Ducati.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/04/audi-buys-ducati

Quote:
Audi Buys Ducati for $1.12 Billion, But Why?

After weeks of rumors, Audi has announced plans to purchase Ducati for something in the neighborhood of $1.12 billion. But why does a gigantic auto conglomerate want a tiny bike manufacturer? What will VW do with Ducati? And, what does the deal mean for that most evocative of bike brands? Let’s examine the background, business and speak to experts that may be able to share some insight.

...

$1.12 billion dollars sound like a lot of money. And, to you or me, it would be. But, in the world of gargantuan corporations, it’s simply not that significant.

“Instagram was just acquired by Facebook for $1 billion,” highlights Jon Alain Guzik, a veteran of the technology and automotive industries. “What’s worth more, 35 million users or making 40,000 bikes a year? Instagram’s assets and brand pale in comparison to those of Ducati, but the two companies achieved the same valuation.”

$1 billion is also a trivial sum to a company as large as Volkswagen. Last year, the Group’s 11 brands (Ducati makes 12), sold 8.4 million vehicles for a revenue of $209.1 billion. “Consider for a moment that Volkswagen’s business generates something close to 8 billion euros in free cash every year,” Barclays Capital analyst Michael Tyndall told Reuters. “The company either has to find investments to enhance its return on capital or it needs to return the extra cash to shareholders.”

You’re going to be reading about how VW wants to enable Audi to better compete with BMW by adding Ducati to its stable. That’s bogus. BMW motorcycles are as irrelevant to BMW as 40,000 bikes a year will be to VW. In 2011, BMW Group had a total revenue of about $90 billion, $1.8 billion of which was contributed by Motorrad. Reuters uses the term “a drop in the bucket.”

You’ll also be hearing speculation about VW gaining technology from Ducati. Specifically stuff about small engine technology. That is a tempting rabbit hole to speculate down. Ducati makes 1199cc engines that make 195bhp. VW makes 1.6-liter engines that make 100bhp. Plug Duc technology into that Polo and every wins, right? Right? Again, a company at Ducati’s level — 40,000 bikes as opposed to over 8 million cars and trucks — simply does not have technology that the bigger company doesn’t. They don’t have more talent or secret alien technology. Motorcycle engines play a very different game to car engines. They have higher specific power outputs, but they do so at a higher price (the engine is a higher percentage of total vehicle cost on a motorcycle), with much higher emissions, much lower service intervals and exponentially lower outright lifetimes. If VW started selling Golfs that went 175mph, but cost $75,000, got 8 mpg, required $5,000 services every 4,000 miles and blew up after 20,000 miles, VW would be in a lot of trouble. That’s before you even factor in emissions standards, which are far more lenient for motorcycles than cars.

What else? Some marketing tie ins or race team sponsorships or presence at corporate events are multi-brand dealers? Again, to quote Reuters, “a drop in the bucket.” All these benefits are marginal in the context of one of the world’s largest businesses acquiring a company with the same valuation as an iPhone app.

...(more in link)
Interesting.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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....why not?

The worst that could happen is they piss off the purists when they german-ize an italian exotic - like what they did with lamborghini?
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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The article seems to lean towards the idea that they're just doing it to throw another high-end name on their trophy wall (or, like pictures of kids in their wallet).

I don't think this is bad for Ducati at all.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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HA
HA
when I read that I read it as Bugatti, and thought, they already own them
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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Extremely popular for whom? If you meant to say Hybrid cars are doing well for toyota, then you would be right, but every other manufacturer seems to be struggling to sell any of them in any volume.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by zergling View Post
....why not?

The worst that could happen is they piss off the purists when they german-ize an italian exotic - like what they did with lamborghini?
It's a fitting match: Among the most unreliable of motorcycle brands paired with among the most unreliable of automotive marques.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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yeah, but the passion should be off the charts!!!!
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
It's a fitting match: Among the most unreliable of motorcycle brands paired with among the most unreliable of automotive marques.
Couldn't have put it better myself. Although Ducati has been making some serious headway in increasing reliability.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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Couldn't have put it better myself. Although Ducati has been making some serious headway in increasing reliability.
expanding tanks!!!
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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My Duc ran like a scalded bitch! When she ran...

Keyrist!...and I own a VW. *hangs head in shame*

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Old 04-19-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
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every liter class superbike has issues, and the ducs are pretty miniscule by comparison, lets look at the 08 model year as the newer stuff is still relatively to new. 08 r1's have a issue with eating cylinder 3 and 4 intake valve. 08 cbr1000's a large number have a major issue with huge oil consumption from faulty wiper rings. gsxr1000's have had a number of frame failures. a few of the first gen bmw 1000rr's had to have engines replaced under warranty but on the whole they seem to be pretty solid. they all have issues especially when they are all racing to get 200bhp out of a 1 liter na engine.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
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every liter class superbike has issues, and the ducs are pretty miniscule by comparison, lets look at the 08 model year as the newer stuff is still relatively to new. 08 r1's have a issue with eating cylinder 3 and 4 intake valve. 08 cbr1000's a large number have a major issue with huge oil consumption from faulty wiper rings. gsxr1000's have had a number of frame failures. a few of the first gen bmw 1000rr's had to have engines replaced under warranty but on the whole they seem to be pretty solid. they all have issues especially when they are all racing to get 200bhp out of a 1 liter na engine.
The Japanese bikes are relatively bullet proof, and don't require multiple thousands of dollars for valve jobs like Ducati. That said Ducati makes some cool toys and man do they retain value.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:38 PM   #13
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The Japanese bikes are relatively bullet proof, and don't require multiple thousands of dollars for valve jobs like Ducati. That said Ducati makes some cool toys and man do they retain value.
My dad is a ducati nut, valve jobs (IE adjust) dont even cost a grand including timing belts. He currently has an st3.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:52 PM   #14
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My dad is a ducati nut, valve jobs (IE adjust) dont even cost a grand including timing belts. He currently has an st3.
Boxers may be a pain to work on in a confined engine bay... like changing the plugs on a Subaru.

A BMW boxer motorcycle, however... no timing belts to change, and the valve adjustment is a doddle, in comparison... and a relatively minimal maintenance shaft drive.

I love the way some Ducs look... but mechanically, an oil-head or hex-head BMW seems to make more sense than a non-superbike Ducati.

If only I could buy a bike with Hossack/Duolever front suspension, Paralever Evo rear suspension, a DOHC R1200R/GS engine tuned up to "S" specs but not as ultimately expensive as HP2 Sport, and gorgeous bodywork that isn't torture for the pilot or an occasional pillion or modest luggage, somewhere between R1100S, and Ducati 900SS-CR.

A new R1200S or RS, so to speak.

Until then, I am just learning and saving for a nice used R1200S, or a K1200R-Sport, which weren't even given a chance to catch on... both only sold for the 2007 model year.

I am really hoping this cross-Germany rivalry between BMW and Audi/Ducati will spark some competition, not just in the race replica genre.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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My dad is a ducati nut, valve jobs (IE adjust) dont even cost a grand including timing belts. He currently has an st3.
Don't the air cooled Ducatis still have threaded valve adjustment? If so, they are a breeze, and all it takes is the patience and confidence to do it. Shim adjustments, on the other hand, aren't as simple.
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