by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

ANALYSIS: Ducati is up for sale - Could Mercedes-AMG slip the chance?

At the LA Auto Show 2010, Mercedes-AMG and Ducati have signed an official cooperation agreement becoming effective from 2011 onwards. The main foundations of the strategic partnership were developing joint marketing activities and exploring routes for stronger, future collaborations.

A while ago, the news Ducati is looking for new "parents" appeared and since then, the gamble has begun. Just yesterday, a strange rumor emerged, stating Audi has reached a deal with the management board of the Italian motorbike manufacturer and thus has secured the 'first refusal' option in the event Ducati gets to be sold. Merc's Ingolstadt-based competitor execes have time until mid-April to make up their mind and decide whether to buy or not the motorcycle company. Anyway, a definitive conclusion to Ducati's sale is expected to be taken at the beginning of May.

If the rumor holds true, it's a pity to see Mercedes-AMG was caught rather empty-handed in this business. Already having a partnership doesn't necessarily mean one is in a preferential position. The Affalterbach-based firm should better be reconsidering its weapons quickly. Lately, we know there is a unanimous opinion Daimler AG must include a motorbike constructor in the portfolio and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they cannot afford to lose. If Ducati eventually went to Audi, it would then be a shame for all those beautiful products the Italians and Mercedes-AMG have marketed together. So, fingers crossed and good luck to Merc, because they will be facing a tough competition!

Related Articles:

- Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG and Ducati Streetfighter 848: Mercedes-AMG and Ducati highlight cooperation

- Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition celebrates world premiere at the IAA Frankfurt 2011: AMG and Ducati create first joint products

- Gabriele del Torchio takes delivery of new company car: Ducati president to drive new CLS 63 AMG

- Mercedes AMG, Cigarette and Ducati Share 'A Penchant for Performance'

- Ducati MotoGP works driver visits Affalterbach: Nicky Hayden takes delivery of a new CLS 63 AMG

- Mercedes-AMG: future plans at a glance

- Cooperation agreement signed with Italian motorcycle manufacturer: AMG to cooperate with Ducati

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