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Harley Davidson To Buy Ducati?


The Ducati melee is turning out to be a swayamvar of sorts with Harley Davidson turning out to be the latest suitor in line

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As preposterous as it may seem, sources claim that Harley-Davidson has plans to buy the Italian firm. The matchmaker here is Goldman Sachs whom Harley have approached to create a bid that is valued at close to $1.63 billion (Approximately Rs 10,515 crore). Harley is likely to put up provisional bids in July. Also Read: Volkswagen Likely To Sell Ducati

It is interesting to note that when it comes to takeovers Harley-Davidson has had its share of failed relationships. One was the American firm Buell Motorcycle Company while the other was the Italian MV Agusta which they bought in 2008 for $109 million (Approximately Rs 703 crore). Then the recession hit, motorcycle sales slumped, and two years later Harley-Davidson sold it back to the Castiglioni family for just 1 pound (Approximately Rs 81). So yes, that did not go down well. Harley-Davidson's partnership with Buell Motorcycle Company started way back in 1993 and in 2009, Harley-Davidson stopped manufacturing Buell motorcycles to focus on itself. The company wasn't sold either and this forced the founder of Buell, Erik Buell to establish a new company called Erik Buell Racing and continued making bikes under the new brand. 

 

 

 

Ducati Monster 821

 

 

 

 

Last time it was the recession but this time it may be different. Ducati has been steadily selling more motorcycles over the last couple of years and the reason for the fire sale is that parent company Volkswagen AG wishes to recover the massive monetary losses it incurred during last years 'Dieselgate.' Also read: Dieselgate: Former And Current VW Chairmen Under Investigation

If the sale goes through and Harley-Davidson actually manages to buy out Ducati, how much of a technical advantage will it be for Harley remains to be seen. I simply cannot fathom if the chrome-covered V-twins will employ the 'Testastretta' technology or future Harleys will be as light as a feather. As far as the bike world believes, red and chrome don't always go well together. 

 

 

 

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That said, other suitors to this gala fest included a few Indian companies like Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motors. BMW, Honda and Suzuki meanwhile seem uninterested. 

This year, EICMA might just have an interesting tale to tell.

Source: Reuters

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