Tomorrow may look different, but that's how it is today.
Rumors about Ducati departing from its cozy place under the VW Group’s wing have been swirling pretty much ever since the two first came together. In November, 2020, though, those rumors gained significantly more substance, since it was VW CEO Herbert Diess who was pulling the strings.
At the time, Diess spoke to analysts about future VW Group plans. He went on to say that because Ducati and Lamborghini didn’t fit into the Group’s vision of a connected, largely electrified, and on-demand mobility future, it wasn’t clear how valuable they would remain. Thus, he said, the Group was exploring options to group the two together with Italdesign, then spin all three firms off into a tidy package for a potentially easier sale down the line.
On December 14, 2020, the Volkswagen Supervisory Board met to discuss the Group’s broader Together 2025+ strategy. That’s the tentpole name given to the shared goals of electromobility and digitalization throughout the VW Group and all its brands. As the entire group works toward this goal, it also plans to increase both its efficiency and profitability. I mean, it’s a business, right?
They plan to reduce fixed costs overall by five percent to hit a 2023 deadline, and also plan to reduce materials costs by seven percent over the next two years. It’s unclear what portion of these reduction strategies will fall on Ducati. However, fall they will, because “there is agreement on the Board that Lamborghini and Ducati will remain part of the Volkswagen Group,” according to a statement. Meanwhile, the Bentley brand is shifting over to the Audi Group’s responsibility, so the two luxury marques can get their electrification synergy in order.
What changed? While we’ll never know everything that goes on in meetings like these, you’ll note that there’s no timeframe on this most recent statement. Just how long Lamborghini and Ducati will remain part of the VW Group is unclear. Things could, after all, look very different as mobility needs and wants continue to change.
In November, 2020, Diess spoke about short-, medium-, and long-term plans for the Group. So, it’s still possible that a change may be bubbling away on the back burner, and simply not happening quickly. Since the VW Group isn’t in dire financial straits, there’s no need to rush any action it wishes to take. It’s in a position where it can take its time and/or change its mind, as circumstances dictate.