VW union lead­ers re­sist Du­cati sale

Motorcycle Monthly - - News -

Since the start of the year, a swirl of spec­u­la­tion has sur­rounded the Du­cati brand, as VW looks to off­load the iconic Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer – and re­lease funds to deal with the on­go­ing diesel-gate scan­dal. In the in­ter­tim, we’ve re­ported that a bunch of big names have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in tak­ing own­er­ship of the Du­cati brand – from KTM to Har­ley-David­son and Ba­jaj Auto to Benet­ton.

Post-diesel-gate, VW has big plans for its fu­ture called Strat­egy 2025. The Ger­mans want to be­come lead­ers in clean and green en­er­gies, push­ing elec­tric and au­ton­o­mous au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy – and the sale of Du­cati would re­lease sig­nif­i­cant funds for rein­vest­ment. De­spite the clear state­ment of in­tent, VW has hit a stum­bling block that could pre­vent the sale of the Ital­ian fac­tory. Last year, Du­cati turned €731 mil­lion (£661 mil­lion) of profit – and the union lead­ers of VW, who oc­cupy 10 of the 20 seats on the firm’s Su­per­vi­sory Board (that is in charge of de­cid­ing on sales of shares) are not con­vinced the sale is the right de­ci­sion in light of such suc­cess.

“Any­one who reads the bian­nual re­port of the com­pany should know that we do not need money and our sub­sidiaries are not avail­able to bar­gain hun­ters,” an in­ter­nal source re­vealed this month.

The unions will be count­ing on the sup­port of the Porsche and Piech fam­i­lies, who hold four seats be­tween them. And that’s not all – the State of Lower Sax­ony, which owns 20% of Volk­swa­gen and typ­i­cally aligns with trade unions, has the right to veto de­ci­sions af­fect­ing the clo­sure of plants and the sale of goods.

All de­ci­sions must be ap­proved by the Su­per­vi­sory Board, but the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee which is cur­rently look­ing af­ter the po­ten­tial sale, has not made any re­quest to the Su­per­vi­sory Board in this re­gard as yet. Ul­ti­mately, de­spite the ru­mours the sale of Du­cati is still a long way from re­al­ity – es­pe­cially with­out wider sup­port from within Volk­swa­gen.

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