Ducati Aims To Protect Bike Brand Aura As Sales Spike
Since a surprise takeover in 2012 by German automaker Volkswagen, Italian sports bike maker Ducati has enjoyed an era of much-needed financial stability that it has ridden to record sales.
But don’t expect Ducati bikes to start flooding the market. CEO Claudio Domenicali is focused on protecting the aura of exclusivity surrounding the brand, which is best known for its success on global racing circuits.
“We will stay a premium brand,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the company’s factory and headquarters in the Borgo Panigale neighborhood of Bologna.
Ducati sold 7,400 motorcycles in June, a 60 percent increase over the same month last year. And through the first half of the year, the company increased sales by 22 percent to a record 32,600 motorcycles delivered.
While Ducati is pleased with those results, Domenicali says the company is not looking to increase sales volume to a specific number: “We are not targeting to go 100,000 motorcycles.”
This year’s sales include 9,000 deliveries of the Scrambler, a new retro-styled brand aimed at customers who may not have traditionally considered buying a Ducati. Some enthusiasts have been critical of the laidback Scrambler — complete with its own yellow logo and line of clothing and accessories — as a departure from the Ducati’s racing roots. The Scrambler’s 75 horsepower, for example, is just a fraction of the 205 horsepower erupting from Ducati’s top-of-the-line Panigale 1299 S superbike.