Ducati to Launch 5-6 New Models
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