However, the rumours have made a comeback as a recent report from news agency, Reuters suggests that Volkswagen is considering a possible sale of Ducati to help fund a strategic overhaul post the emissions scandal.
The report further added that Volkswagen has appointed investment banking firm Evercore for evaluation of a possible sale of the Ducati brand. VW is now said to be scouting the market for interested potential buyers of the Ducati brand.
Ducati is owned by VW's Audi division through its Italian subsidiary Lamborghini. Ducati was acquired by Audi for $935 million (£725 million) back in 2012 - and the brand has declined to comment on the speculation.
A banker near to the market said potential buyers were likely to provide VW a revenues multiple of more than 10.
Sources say Ducati may appeal to motorcycle makers in China, India's Hero or investors such as the consortium that bought British sports auto maker Aston Martin. Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki could also be interested.
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Industry insiders expressed initial doubts on VW's purchase of Ducati, considering it a less than financially astute notion of then VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who is no longer in charge.
Volskwagen, which owns Ducati, among other brands, is now studying the possible benefits of selling the Italian company, according to news agency Reuters.
Private equity firms could also be attracted to a brand whose motorcycles have won the Superbike racing competition 17 times, the sources said. In 2016, Ducati's sales were worth 593 million euros, or almost $644 million.
One source noted that floating Ducati on the stock market may be considered if VW doesn't receive appropriate interest.
Chief Executive Matthias Mueller, asked by Reuters at the March 14 annual press conference whether this review has since yielded any conclusions, said the carmaker still had nothing to announce.