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Mercedes-AMG takes a ride with MV Agusta

Two-wheel future: Mercedes-AMG has bought a 25 per cent interest in Italian motorcycle-maker MV Agusta.

Two-wheeled race is on against Audi and BMW as Mercedes-AMG buys stake in MV Agusta

Mercedes-Benz logo5 Nov 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ’S performance division Mercedes-AMG has bought a 25 per cent interest in Italian motorcycle-maker MV Agusta which will see it compete with Audi’s Ducati and BMW in the two-wheeled market.

While no details of the acquisition’s cost have been revealed, the purchase allows Mercedes-AMG to appoint one member to MV Agusta’s board of directors.

The marketing and sales cooperation agreement between both companies is intended to broaden their customer bases.

Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers said the partnership was ideal as both brands had famous racing pasts and similar fast-future ambitions.

“In MV Agusta, we have found the perfect two-wheel partner for Mercedes-AMG,” he said.

“This manufacturer with a long tradition and Mercedes-AMG are connected not only by a long and successful racing history, but also by shared values and goals for the future – allowing the experience of utmost perfection, optimal performance and motorsport technology for the road.

“The cooperation with MV Agusta also underscores the importance of AMG as the sportscar and high-performance brand of Mercedes-Benz Cars. The partnership provides us with an entry into a world of additional high-performance enthusiasts.”

MV Agusta Motor president and CEO Giovanni Castiglioni said the alliance would help its motorcycle business expand worldwide.

“MV Agusta and Mercedes-AMG are a perfect brand fit: Two complementary companies that stand for design, high performance and excellence,” he said.

“Mercedes-AMG will help MV Agusta to further expand globally and to accelerate our growth. The uniqueness of MV Agusta will further enhance Mercedes-AMG’s leadership in the high-performance segment.”

This is not the first time the German-car maker has teamed up with an Italian motorcycle company. Four years ago AMG and Ducati signed a cooperation agreement at the 2010 Los Angeles motor show. That partnership saw the launch of Ducati Diavel AMG Special Edition bike in 2011.

When Volkswagen Group-owned brand Audi acquired Ducati for $A1.28 billion in 2012, Mercedes-AMG issued a press release saying that it had to end the agreement.

“The company takeover by a rival car manufacturer has understandably resulted in the end of any further collaboration,” read the release.

Ferrari appears to be gearing up for a motorcycle future, too, with reports that it has filed a patent for a V-twin engine. The move has led to speculation that the Italian supercar-maker will produce a high-performance motorbike.

Owning a motorcycle-maker means car manufacturers have access to high-powered compact engines as Audi’s parent Volkswagen demonstrated at the Paris motor show this year with the Ducati engine-powered XL Sport Concept Meanwhile, BMW Group has been building motorcycles since 1921 under the BMW Motoradd name and recorded a sales total last year of 115,215 units globally.

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