Volkswagen CEO says motorcycle maker needs a plan for its future

With the Volkswagen Group busy adjusting to a rapidly-changing automotive landscape, Herbert Diess, Volkswagen Group CEO, says a merger or pairing for Ducati looks likely.

Speaking to Handelsblatt, Diess outlined his thoughts on the motorcycle manufacturer.

Diess said it's "obvious" there are no synergies between the bike manufacturer and the group's automobile business, just as there's no overlap between the company's truck and car operations.

He said Ducati needs to formulate a plan for its future, including how to tackle electric propulsion and where sales growth will come from.

With the company dealing with fallout from the Dieselgate affair and pivoting toward electric vehicles, Diess noted it's important for Volkswagen to "manage the size of the group".

"I can also imagine a merger or a partnership with other brands", the Volkswagen Group boss said.

Other parts of the business under review are the MAN truck division and engineering services company Renk.

This isn't the first time the future of Ducati within the Volkswagen Group has been called into question. A report in April 2017 claimed Volkswagen had engaged Evercore, a banking advisory firm, to help it find a buyer for the motorcycle manufacturer.

By the end of year, Rupert Stadler, then-CEO of Audi, declared Ducati would stay in the family and was the "perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes".