Ducati/Mercedes Benz Partnership Ends
2012 Ducati Sale News
Following the news that Audi was purchasing Ducati, it was just a matter of time before the marketing partnership between Mercedes-Benz and the iconic Italian motorcycle brand would cease.
Once officials at Audi’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, gave the go-ahead with the sale, Mercedes-Benz was forced to end the partnership. The termination was due to Audi being one of Mercedes-Benz’s rivals, especially in the company’s high-performance AMG division.
Soon after the Audi/Ducati purchase was confirmed on April 18, Mercedes-Benz released the following statement:
“Since the end of 2010 a successful marketing cooperation has existed between AMG and Ducati. The company takeover by a rival car manufacturer has understandably resulted in the end of any further collaboration. The takeover of Ducati was never our aim – our focus lies clearly in developing and producing premium performance cars and we will be concentrating all our energy on this.”
The original partnership goes back to late 2010, when Mercedes-Benz AMG and Ducati unitedly announced the news at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. When the partnership began, AMG began supporting the Ducati MotoGP Team as the Official Car Partner from the outset of the 2011 season, the same year Ducati signed Valentino Rossi. And during select AMG events, participants were able to test ride Ducati motorcycles.
Besides a slew of marketing material, Ducati also released an AMG Diavel, which debuted last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Speaking of the machine, Ducati said “the Diavel AMG Special Edition now represents the first ‘co-inspired’ model, elegantly combining distinctive styling features from both famous marques.”
But both famed marques are no longer. Now the question is will Ducati play out the same idea with parent-company Audi? And if so, will this lead to maybe an Audi R8 version of the all-new 1199 Panigale, or something as unique?
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