‘Each model has its own cus­tomer and we can find them all in In­dia’

We called on Sergi Canovas, Manag­ing Di­rec­tor of Du­cati In­dia to dis­cuss the state of the In­dian pre­mium mo­tor­cy­cle seg­ment and all things Du­cati. Here's what he had to say


Let’s start with Du­cati’s In­dia fu­ture. Four bikes this year, so what’s next in the pipe­line?

We are still di­gest­ing these four mod­els. First of all, we launched the V4, we launched the Mul­tistrada 1260 and the Mon­ster 821, and now we have launched the Scram­bler 1100. two of these mod­els al­low us to en­ter into new seg­ments. the V4 al­lows us to en­ter into the four-cylin­der seg­ment that we were not present in and it’s al­ways im­por­tant. the re­ac­tion and the ac­cep­tance have been very pos­i­tive from all sides. We opened the book­ings in Jan­uary and we got much more than we had ex­pected. But it’s a new seg­ment for us, so we are com­plet­ing seg­ments in In­dia and the same for the Scram­bler 1100. It’s a new seg­ment for us in which we are go­ing to com­pete with clas­sic bikes that you have here and for all those who are want­ing to have a bike that comes back from the past... but with a modern touch, this is the im­por­tant thing. then for the rest we are go­ing to see at eICMA what is com­ing up and what­ever is launched in eICMA, as we are do­ing ev­ery year, we are go­ing to launch it here.

Speaking of EICMA, there are a few bikes ex­pected to be un­veiled by Du­cati at the show. So, how soon af­ter EICMA, which is in Novem­ber, do you ex­pect these bikes to ar­rive here in In­dia?

We nor­mally have a lead time of six months af­ter these launches in europe. that’s why, if you look at the launch of our bikes, they are nor­mally in June, July, and Au­gust. these are the mo­ments that we have bikes avail­able from thai­land. But it de­pends on when it’s launched in europe. It’s not very much re­lated to eICMA but when it is launched in europe.

In terms of the In­dian pre­mium mo­tor­cy­cle seg­ment, you have ri­vals such as Tri­umph and Har­ley-David­son in­tro­duc­ing new prod­ucts reg­u­larly as well and you have Royal En­field en­ter­ing that space with the im­mi­nent ar­rival of their new 650 twins. So, do you think there’s more scope for the growth of the In­dian mar­ket?

I think that the pres­ence of brands is grow­ing, the op­tions that the cus­tomers have are grow­ing a lot and all the in­gre­di­ents to make this mar­ket very big are there. You men­tion, for ex­am­ple, Royal en­field; but if you look for ex­am­ple in all the new seg­ments they are cre­at­ing or they are evolv­ing like the 250-300 and most prob­a­bly soon 650-700, these are things that for us are very good, be­cause one thing that we no­tice is that if you en­ter into the mo­tor­cy­cling world, it’s very dif­fi­cult to have a pro­gres­sive evo­lu­tion, there are big gaps be­tween seg­ments which makes it dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to jump. So, what­ever makes it easy, this grad­ual growth in­side the mo­tor­cy­cling world is good for us.

So, you’re look­ing for­ward to the 650s com­ing here then? I’m look­ing for­ward to any so­lu­tion for the bik­ers that cre­ates com­mu­nity and op­por­tu­nity to grow. Be­cause, at the end, we are there for those who want to have some­thing re­ally spe­cial.

Speaking of com­mu­nity, are Du­cati bring­ing more com­mu­nity-fo­cused ac­tiv­i­ties along the lines of fes­ti­vals such as the World Du­cati Week or other com­mu­nityled events to In­dia?

I think that you need to reach a big­ger com­mu­nity, most prob­a­bly. that’s why we are work­ing very hard towards pro­vid­ing new ac­tiv­i­ties to our cus­tomers, you know, to cre­ate this com­mu­nity, to cre­ate this kind of sense of be­long­ing. And, of course, af­ter that on the mo­tor­cy­cling, you start by do­ing Dream tours and then, most prob­a­bly, you are go­ing to do dif­fer­ent things as long as your com­mu­nity grows and we are open to any kind of these events. the key thing is that we are very much into ex­pe­ri­en­tial things, so we are not lim­ited to cer­tain things you know. So, like now, for ex­am­ple, this year has been our first year launch­ing this kind of ex­pe­ri­en­tial things — Dream tours, DRe off-road days — and now in Oc­to­ber we are go­ing to launch the DRe track days with Alessan­dro Valia com­ing here, so we are in­cor­po­rat­ing things from the Du­cati world at the speed that the com­mu­nity is grow­ing.

What part of Du­cati’s very wide am­bit of prod­ucts in these var­i­ous mo­tor­cy­cle gen­res has been the most pop­u­lar in the In­dian mar­ket so far?

Well, when we started, we wanted to of­fer all of our range be­cause we are into sev­eral seg­ments, we want to make sure that who­ever comes to our show­room finds the per­fect bike for them. It is also true that the mo­tor­cy­cling in­dus­try fol­lows a lot of trends, right, so some­times you have the clas­sic bikes, some­times peo­ple like sport bikes, some­times peo­ple like cus­tom­ized bikes, so you need to be there. You need to be there and you need to make sure that you have the right of­fer­ings for the cus­tomers. So, we have seen changes since we started; for ex­am­ple, in the begin­ning the Di­avel was a very suc­cess­ful prod­uct, 821 has al­ways been there, but the Scram­bler, as a fam­ily, is one of the most im­por­tant in our port­fo­lio. Mul­tistradas, you have also cus­tomers who want to ride and go to the moun­tains. So, hav­ing In­dia — a 1.3 bil­lion pop­u­la­tion — and with so di­verse a na­ture and en­vi­ron­ment, ev­ery­thing is work­ing for us. Pani­gales… each model has its own cus­tomer and we can find them all in In­dia.

A lot of your ri­vals in the pre­mium seg­ment have been look­ing to try and di­ver­sify their range fur­ther by look­ing towards lower dis­place­ment bikes; whether it’s the re­cently an­nounced Ba­jaj-Tri­umph part­ner­ship or the TVS col­lab­o­ra­tion with BMW Motorrad. Since you have smaller Scram­blers that you sell abroad and, as you men­tioned ear­lier, there is gap be­tween smaller dis­place­ment bikes and more per­for­mance-ori­ented, big­ger ones in the In­dian mar­ket, will you look into fill­ing that gap your­self? the com­pany is ob­vi­ously al­ways look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties and from what we see right now and what the other brands are do­ing, one of the op­por­tu­ni­ties is in this seg­ment. But it needs to be an­a­lyzed in a very cau­tious way be­cause you are en­ter­ing a seg­ment that you are not used to, which most prob­a­bly will have other cus­tomers and in which you need to make sure that the brand val­ues are de­liv­ered also in what is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent seg­ment. So, it’s in­ter­est­ing to see what’s go­ing to hap­pen with the brands, but so far we don’t have any­thing on the ta­ble.

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