Du­cati to Launch 5-6 New Mod­els

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Ke­tan.Thakkar@ times­group.com

Mum­bai: Su­per­bike maker Du­cati, which is jostling for space in an In­dian mar­ket dom­i­nated by Har­ley David­son and Tri­umph, plans to launch at least five-six mod­els in the coun­try this year and ex­pand net­work to over a dozen lo­ca­tions in a bid to dou­ble sales to over 1,200 units in the next two years.

An­drea Buz­zoni, global sales and mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Du­cati, ad­mits the brand is still in an es­tab­lish­ing phase in the coun­try. “We should be re­al­is­ti­cally look­ing at dou­bling our sales vol­umes in In­dia from 600 units we did in 2016. This is not a dream, it is more of a busi­ness plan we have to ex­e­cute in the next one to two years.”

Du­cati, owned by the Volk­swa­gen Group, does not have a man­u­fac­tur­ing base in In­dia; it im­ports bikes from Thai­land and avails of the ben­e­fits un­der the free trade agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries to price its bike com­pet­i­tively in In­dia.

Since the vol­umes are still low, Buz­zoni said, it does not war­rant a man­u­fac­tur­ing or CKD assem­bly line in In­dia. But, for pen­e­tra­tion into the mar­ket, the brand needs a min­i­mum10-15 deal­er­ships across the coun­try, he said. “At 7,000 units per an­num for big bikes (above 500 cc), In­dia is still a very small mar­ket to set up a man­u­fac­tur­ing base. In­dia def­i­nitely has the po­ten­tial to do a lot more in the fu­ture,” said Buz­zoni.

Du­cati has de­cided to set up an assem­bly base in Brazil, which has a mar­ket size of 38,000 units per an­num for big bikes, he said.

In two years, the com­pany crossed 1,000 units in cu­mu­la­tive sales in In­dia in 2016. Du­cati’s sales grew 18% (on a low base) in In­dia in 2016, against the mar­ket growth of 5%. Du­cati sells all its five brands in In­dia with over 22 vari­ants, priced from .₹ 6.97 lakh to .₹ 0.5 crore.

Buz­zoni said the two pil­lars of his growth strat­egy will be strength­en­ing the ex­ist­ing prod­uct seg­ment and en­ter­ing new seg­ments like sports cruis­ers and ad­ven­ture bikes. The com­pany has no plans to launch lower dis­place­ment bikes be­low 500 cc as of now. How­ever, Buz­zoni says with the pro­file of buy­ers in Europe and US get­ting older, Du­cati needs bikes for the youth of Europe and US, which will also ben­e­fit emerg­ing mar­kets like In­dia, Brazil and China. “There is no de­ci­sion as yet, but if Du­cati de­cides on it in the fu­ture, In­dia will be an im­por­tant part of it,” Buz­zoni said.

Glob­ally, Du­cati’s sales in­creased 22% in the last two years to 55,500 units in 2016. It has a global mar­ket share of 5.5%.

COM­PANY PHOTO An­drea Buz­zoni, global sales and mar­ket­ing direc­tor at Du­cati

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