With the internet buzzing yet again about rumors of Ducati planning to build a scooter model, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali has also once again had to dismiss any truth to the matter. Talking to MCN about the matter, Domenicali said simply that “A scooter is not in the foreseeable future for Ducati.”
Domenicali went on to explain that small-displacement machines were not in the cards for Ducati and the brand’s foreseeable future, with the Italian motorcycle company electing instead to focus on niches with the larger displacement categories. It is no secret that Ducati is looking to introduce a scrambler-style model for the 2015 model year, and other models are presumably in the works as well.
The key phrase behind Domenicali’s interview with MCN is of course “foreseeable future” which could mean a wide range of timetables. For Ducati, the low-hanging fruit may still be large-displacement machines, new markets, and current marketing development. However I stand behind my sentiment that it’s when, not if, Ducati builds a scooter model.
The rumor mill has hotly focused around a scooter from the Bologna brand, either from the words of credible sources, pure conjecture, or outright falsification on slow news days — but as they say, where there is smoke, there is fire. Without a doubt at the very least, Ducati has explored the idea, as all diligent brands would.
Still with such a model representing such a large departure from the kind of machines the Italian marque is known for building, the most likely scenario for “when” Ducati approaches a scooter offering will likely come after the company first begins offering smaller displacement motorcycles. And thus, when the Ducati Scrambler finally debuts, we may get a glimpse of where Ducati is headed by judging the machine’s engine displacement.
Until then, two things remain certain: 1) emerging markets, where small-displacement motorcycles dominate, are the only current regions of growth for the motorcycle industry, and 2) Ducati cannot ignore the demands in these markets forever. What conspires from those pressures is for time to tell, for the foreseeable future of course.