While neither Ducati nor Royal Enfield have confirmed this development, we take a look at the possible synergies that can emerge from this collaboration. Royal Enfield is understood to have been approached to acquire Italian superbike maker Ducati, owned by Germany's embattled Volkswagen group.
While Ducati may be launching motorcycle after motorcycle, its parent company, Volkswagen, is now looking for ways to dust off losses related to emissions scandal. Ducati's annual earnings for VW are estimated to be around 100 million Euro (nearly Rs 700 crore), and the Italian brand's current market valuation is estimated to be over 1.5 billion Euro (over Rs 10,000 crore). A recent report suggests that the Eicher owned two-wheeler subsidiary Royal Enfield is now examining the terms like possible asking price and other acquisition process. "So basically, without saying absolutely no to anything - because we never say never - we are so zeroed in on our own opportunity that we do not want anything to distract us".
Royal Enfield will benefit from Ducati's iconic branding, technology, heavy-bikes portfolio, and a good network in developed markets, the report added. The TOI mentions that Ducati's 800cc and 1200cc bikes will fill a void in the Enfield line-up, which now doesn't venture into that territory.
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Under the VW Group there are brands like Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, MAN, Scania, SEAT, Skoda, and Volkswagen.
Ducati had sales of 593 million Euros in 2016 (Rs 4,196 crore).
The Italian company sold 55,451 units a year ago (at a growth of 1.2%), and enjoys a cult branding across the world with a healthy network in many developed markets.
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Other companies in the fray may include Suzuki, Honda, Polaris, Harley Davidson, the report said.
Volkswagen, Ducati, Hero MotoCorp nor Royal Enfield have commented on this so far. Purchase of Ducati, with its range of V-twins ranging from 400 cc to 1,299 cc, and covering everything from superbikes to dual-purpose touring to retro machines, would fit into Eicher's plans to make Enfield a "global brand".
The company is focussing on a strategic worldwide thrust, and opened 12 exclusive stores in the year gone by in cities like Sao Paulo, Barcelona, Valencia, Melbourne, London, Manila, and Milwaukee.
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