The strange and convoluted saga of the supposedly impending sale of Volkswagen’s Ducati shares has taken yet another turn, with a report VW doesn’t actually want to sell.
The story started in the aftermath of 2015’s diesel emissions scandal, which saw Volkswagen implicated in a scheme to beat EPA’s tailpipe testing program. Afterwards, the financial fallout was supposedly so dire that VW decided to sell off some of its assets, including its Ducati shares, as well as ownership in Dutch transmission maker Renk.
Since then, we’ve seen several companies said to be interested in buying Ducati. The most prominent was Harley-Davidson, but Royal Enfield and other Indian manufacturers, along with Chinese motorcycle maker Loncin and some other interesting companies have all been named as being potential purchasers.
However, if the latest report from Reuters is true, it doesn’t matter who’s interested, because the majority of Volkswagen’s supervisory board isn’t interested in selling. Supposedly, the pushback is coming from labour leaders on the board, who comprise half the board’s 20 members. The labour reps supposedly say this move isn’t financially necessary right now, and they don’t want to see Ducati and Renk sold off without demonstrable need.
Reading between the lines, the workers probably know that a move to non-Euro ownership could be bad for their financial bottom line, even if it’s good for the company. But lest you think this is some sort of power-to-the-people play, Reuters also says the mega-rich Porsche and Piech families, who control 52 per cent of VW’s voting shares as well as four seats on the voting board, are also against the sale. Other internal factions in the company are also supposedly against the sale.
With all this in mind, it’s very hard to imagine Volkswagen getting rid of Ducati anytime soon, unless significant money problems manifest themselves.