Facebook buys Instagram for $ 1 billion. Audi just bought Ducati for $ 1.2 billion. The world is going loony.
But Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, certainly has all the parts of its business brain screwed in right. Bossman Ferdinand Piech always wanted a motorcycle marque in his shopping bag. After bagging the likes of Lamborghini and Bugatti, it’s only fitting that one as evocative and exotic as Ducati is that motorcycle marque. For Ducati, this deal means unrestricted access into daddy VolksWagen’s deep pockets to pay for R&D and other expenses. Ka-ching!
However unattainable brands such as these might seem, a spoilsport (for them) called economics brings them closer to the ground. Catering solely to a niche market can only bring in so much revenue. Open up your product portfolio to a larger audience, you could make your accountants smile!
Such reasoning is the cause for the Ducati 795 and the Audi A4, now improved by a facelift. Make no mistake, these two are not cheap by any standards. But they are definitely affordable to a larger number of people than the other models from their makers. Therein lies their purpose. And the sales figures reflect this — the A4 is Audi’s highest seller in volume and the 795, Ducati’s cheapest model on sale in India, although mainly Asia-specific for now, is flying out of showrooms almost as quickly as the Thailand factory can make them.
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