Frankfurt Ferdinand Piech, who has added six brands during his two-decade administration arch Volkswagen, is about to add accession with the acquirement of Ducati Motor Holding. This time he risks overreaching.
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The €860-million (Dh4,133 million) accord for the alien Italian motorcycle maker raises the cardinal of VW nameplates to 11 and stretches the automaker’s artefact ambit from 195-horsepower two-wheelers to 50-tonne trucks. The accession of Ducati isn’t acceptable to add abundant to the company’s bottomline and may prove a aberration for Piech, who is already alive on the affiliation of Porsche.
“The Ducati accord shows that Piech is an architect and engineers are sometimes like little babies,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, administrator of the Centre for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen and one of the best affecting assemblage of the German auto industry. “It’s a new toy.”
Folding in Ducati adds accession activity for VW management, which is already tasked with amalgam Porsche’s carmaking operations, fashioning a barter accord with affiliates Scania and MAN and disappointment Suzuki Motor’s efforts to force it to acknowledgment a 19.9 per cent pale afterwards their affiliation failed. VW is aiming to beat GM and bulwark off Toyota Motor to become the top all-around carmaker.
VW’s about-face and accession of new brands counters the action at its better competitors.
Fiat aftermost year spun off its Iveco barter operations into Fiat Industrial to advance its affiliation with Chrysler Group. Ford Motor unloaded Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover to become leaner. General Motors shuttered the Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn brands and awash Saab as allotment of its defalcation reorganisation.
“With abundant trucks, and now motorcycles, they may be advancing to the banned of the types of articles they accept with their car way of thinking,” said Christoph Stuermer, an IHS Automotive analyst in Frankfurt. “With trucks, the central — the blueprint of the motor and the manual — affairs but the packaging doesn’t clashing cars.”
Volkswagen has aloof aloft its pale in Munich-based MAN, the maker of trucks and buses, to 73 per cent of the accepted shares from 56 per cent. The move is allotment of an accomplishment to coin an accord with Scania, which VW controls through a captivation of 71 per cent of the Soedertaelje, Sweden-based company’s voting rights. MAN and Scania chase Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley as brands added beneath Piech’s reign, which dates aback to 1993 back he became CEO.
The German automaker is exploring alternatives to accommodate the Porsche cast afterwards a alliance with the Porsche SE captivation aggregation bootless because of acknowledged tangles. VW already owns 49.9 per cent of the maker of the 911 sports-car afterwards Piech beyond his accessory Wolfgang Porsche to baffle Porsche’s active of Volkswagen.
Ducati, which will be allotment of VW’s Audi unit, aftermost year awash about 42,000 motorcycles such as the $28,000 (Dh102,849) Superbike 1199 Panigale S Tricolore. The Bologna, Italy-based company’s balance afore interest, taxes, abrasion and amortisation rose 39 per cent to €93 actor in 2011, a being accustomed with the abstracts said on March 13. Revenue rose 20 per cent to €480 million.
“We durably accept that Audi and Ducati are an accomplished fit,” VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the company’s anniversary affair in Hamburg.
Praise for CEO: ‘He thinks continued term’
Few bodies abjure Piech’s addition to Volkswagen. Back he took over as CEO in 1993, the maker of the Golf auto was unprofitable, announcement a accident of about €992 million.
Last year, the automaker appear a almanac accumulation of €15.4 billion. Over that period, the group’s sales about tripled to 8.36 actor cartage from 2.96 actor in 1993. Aftermost year, the aggregation surpassed Toyota to become the world’s second-largest carmaker.
“He’s done all the appropriate things,” said Juergen Meyer, a armamentarium administrator with SEB Asset Administration in Frankfurt. “He thinks continued term.”
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