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Audi Acquires Ducati Motorcycles

$1.1 Bil deal positions VW subsidiary as BMW rival.

by on Apr.18, 2012

A Ducati sport bike sits alongside an Audi. It remains to be seen what synergies will emerge.

Audi has confirmed the widely rumored deal that will see it spend an estimated $1.1 billion to acquire Italian sport motorcycle manufacturer Ducati.

The move by the Volkswagen AG luxury brand better positions Audi as a direct rival to BMW AG – as well as Japanese auto and motorcycle manufacturer Honda Motor Co. The acquisition still has to be approved by regulatory authorities in Europe, though Audi indicated it expects the deal to win approval and “be completed as quickly as possible.”

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Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler described the purchase of Ducati as “another building block” in the luxury maker’s growth strategy. Long relegated to the second tier of luxury brands, Audi has been expanding rapidly in recent years and is now in a race with BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz for global sales leadership.

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Harley Hits its Stride

More Americans head out on the highway - on motorcycles.

by on Jul.20, 2011

Born to be wild? The movie Easy Rider got a lot of Baby Boomers heading out on the highway.

Get your motor running…

Head out on the highway…

It’s hard to say exactly how many Harley’s the classic hippie-era film, Easy Rider, actually sold, but it helped ingrain the idea of traveling America on two wheels, and that dream seems to be coming back to life for the Boomers, if the sudden upturn in Harley-Davidson sales is any indication.

The largest of the American motorcycle manufacturers rebounded from a deep slump during the recession, its second-quarter sales soaring by 8%, while profits doubled during the quarter to $190.6 million, or 81 cents a share.

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“We’re pleased with the trends in our sales, Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Keith Wandell told the Associated, Press, though he said, “We still remain cautious about the overall economy and overall consumer confidence.”

The century-old company has had some significant ups-and-downs over recent decades, its fortunes long tied to the mood – and fortunes – of the Baby Boom men.  But there are signs that Harley is expanding its reach, attracting a surprising number of new women riders – as a number of recent magazine stories have highlighted.  It is also starting to draw in the Gen-X and younger buyers who’ve traditionally steered towards Japanese and, to a lesser degree, European imports, according to industry data.

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