Audi AG CEO Rupert Stadler has assured Ducati workers and fans alike that the Italian marque will continue on despite its recent takeover by the German brand.
During a motivational speech to the entire 1000-odd Ducati workforce, including Ducati’s President and CEO Gabriele Del Torchio, at the Ducati factory in Bologna, Stadler stated, “you have my guarantee: Ducati remains Ducati.”
He also explained why Audi was so keen to bring the iconic Italian motorbike brand into the “big family” of the Volkswagen Group.
"You've probably wondered why we were interested in Ducati, a car manufacturer with no apparent ties to Ducati at first glance," Stadler said. "But that's only at first glance. Ducati stands for extraordinary engineering artistry, passion, precision, performance and the sheer joy of living. We're impressed by these achievements."
And while Stadler made mention of the joint opportunities regarding high performance engines and lightweight manufacturing, he stressed that, "Audi and Ducati are both driven by the same passion. Neither of us will detract from the other, we will complement one another ... be an inspiration to each other."
Ducati, whose bikes are sold in over 80 countries around the world, will officially be part of the Audi family by next week.
The acquisition of Ducati by Audi in April was followed just three months later by the announcement that the Volkswagen Group would further its expansion of automotive and motorcycle companies to 12 with the purchase of the remaining 50.1 per cent stake in Porsche Automobil Holding SE's car making business for 4.46 billion euros ($5.44 billion).