Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Will Indian and Ducati become brothers?

Holly Wagner from Dealernews reports  Indian mega-manufacturer Hero MotoCorp reportedly wants to add a status symbol to its growing motorcycle lineup, and has revealed that it's looking into... Ducati.

“Lots of people have been coming to us with Ducati -- not one banker but many bankers,” Pawan Kant Munjal, managing director of Hero, told Bloomberg in a March 2 interview in New Delhi. “We’re talking to a lot of people. Not just Ducati -- whoever comes to us, we talk to them.”
Hero ended a 26-year joint venture with Honda in December 2010 and has since made a deal with Eric Buell Racing.

Hero, the world’s largest motorcycle maker, has built its fortune on budget bikes, selling vehicles for as little as 38,053 rupees ($763). Ducati would give the company firm footing in the luxury market, adding products like the $28,000 1199 Panigale S Tricolore superbike. “It is an excellent fit -- Ducati is a big brand and has a lot of technology; Hero is looking to be a serious global player,” says Deepesh Rathore, managing director of IHS Automotive in India. “Hero might get it cheap. Thanks to the European slowdown, Ducati’s numbers haven’t been great.”

Investindustrial SpA, the Milan-based private-equity company that owns Ducati, may put it up for an initial public offering in Hong Kong this year or sell it to a rival, two people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg last month.  Hero is eyeing overseas markets for growth, and plans to start selling in Africa and Latin America later this year.

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