Ducati Sales Up 22% in First Half of 2015, With an Asterisk

07/03/2015 @ 1:28 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS

Ducati-Scrambler-Press-Launch-Mega-Gallery-164

Ducati Motor Holdings is happy to report that its 2015 sales are off to a great start: up 22% over the first half of 2014. In total, 32,600 motorcycles have been sold by Ducati since January, the most ever sold by Ducati during that time period.

Ducati is also saying that 9,000 of the machines sold were Scrambler models, making the model the most popular in Ducati’s lineup by a strong margin.

For reference, the sales of the other models are as follow: Multistrada 1200 (4,700), Monster 821 (3,700), 1299 Panigale (3,000), the remaining 12,000 units come from the Diavel, 899 Panigale, Hypermotard, and Monster 1200

Ducati says it grew across all of its sales territories, with the USA still the company’s #1 market, and sporting a 10% growth figure so far this year. The USA didn’t post the biggest numbers though, with following countries showing strong sales growth: Italy (+51%), Spain (+38%), the UK (+36%), Germany (+24%), and France (+23%).

Both the United States and Japan posted record sales for the first six months of 2015, 1,900 and 500 units respectively.

“This record-breaking performance by Ducati in the first half of 2015stems from the incredible efforts made over the last two years,” commented Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. “Products like the Scrambler, Multistrada and 1299 Panigale reflect the extraordinary talent of workers who, day after day, dedicate themselves to making customers’ dreams come true.”

“This exceptional growth is the result of teamwork, an ability to handle the complexity of selling in over 90 countries and running 11 branches and 3 production plants. That makes me incredibly proud. A big helping hand has, of course, come from the Ducati Corse racing division, of which our customers are the biggest fans.”

Of course, a sales boost from Ducati is to be expected with the addition of a new segment line, especially one that sits on the bottom end of Ducati’s price points.  Here’s the asterisk though:

Subtracting the Scrambler sales from Ducati’s figures shows a very different story for the Bologna brand. Sales sans the Scrambler (say that three time fast), are roughly 23,600, according to Ducati’s numbers here.

That number is an 11% decrease over Ducati’s sales in the first six months of 2014 (~26,740). Certainly some of the Scrambler sales are coming at the cost of what would otherwise be sales for the Monster 821, or other models.

The question we will leave for you to decide is whether 3,100 of those sales are due to canabalization, that figure representing the volume needed for 2015’s sales to equal Ducati’s in 2014, or if something else is going on for the Ducati brand overall.

We have already explained that Ducati dealers don’t make very much money on each Scrambler sold, and with the other model sales down compared to last year, a bleak picture is being painted for the Ducati dealer network.

We of course have six more months left in the year, which means anything can happen for Ducati’s 2015 sales total. As we are fond of saying, time will tell how this pans out for Ducati and its dealers. But, interesting things are afoot.

Source: Ducati

  • Craig

    I don’t think you are telling the full story. Yes, remove the scrambler from the numbers and compare with last year’s figures and of course the numbers are down, because they don’t include Ducati’s previously best-selling bike, the Monster 796. The Scrambler is a direct entry level replacement for the M796 so your comparison is not exactly apples for apples. The lowest displacement Monster has always been Ducati’s bread and butter machine. The Scrambler has simply taken it’s place, as intended.
    Besides, ifs ands and buts don’t matter. The products exist, the sales are on the books ( with many, many more orders ) people are choosing Ducati. No matter how much you would like to think that they are not doing well they are making ground in a difficult market by doing exactly what is needed, adapting to the needs of the market.

    Dealer markups are the same for all of them (volume dependent). It is different by model. The profit margin on all Ducati entry level bikes has always been slim which is why volume sales are preferred to higher prices. Don’t lambast the scrambler as a low earner for dealers, it’s the same for all products in that segment at Ducati and other manufacturers. Did you have the same complaint about the Monster?

    I think if this bike carried any other name than ‘scrambler’ then you would have far more respect for it than you do. The simple fact is that it has been a huge success and with lower displacement models in the future it will continue to be so. That is not detrimental to the rest of the product line-up as it merely strengthens the brand and allows for more R&D into the replacements for those other products as they age.

    See the bigger picture.

  • Shaswata Panja

    Thank you for your input..made for an insightful read

  • Petzi_baer

    Went to a dealer yesterday. The Scrambler section was completely cleaned out. So I am guessing they could have sold even more if they had enough. Also, I think the Scrambler started showing up at the 2nd quarter, so the numbers could be higher. Will interesting to see how the sales figures will develop over the years. It’s a lovely bike. I am sure they will plenty of Scrambler merchandise in the years to come, which carries the largest margin.

    They had plenty of Multistradas even some from 2014 and enough Panigales (also some from 2014).

  • crshnbrn

    Even though the margin may be slim on a Ducati Scrambler – whether they are pre-sold (perhaps with deposits put down), or merely spending less time on the showroom floor than other models – quick sell-through is beneficial to dealerships by either not having their money tied up, or not paying interest on a floor plan. With demand high for Scramblers, dealerships are less likely to discount them in order to make a sale. Discounting obviously cuts into margins as well, and is harder to absorb on a model with a slimmer margin. Discounting also has a negative effect on resale values.
    I don’t see Jensen’s bleak picture for the Ducati dealer network, and the only reason to attach an asterisk to the sales figures is because the sales figures (at least in terms of quantity of units sold) appear to be on steroids.

  • Ducati Kid

    Jensen and all,

    Lost in this conversation is DUCATI’S proven ability to introduce market segments to motorcycling.

    Motorcycles like Bologna’s Monster, Multistrada and today’s Scrambler SERIES of product.

    Joining any market is not difficult provided someone else took the risk – FIRST!

  • crshnbrn

    “Scrambler SERIES”, does that mean that I am not alone in not buying into Scrambler Ducati being a brand onto itself?

  • Ducati Kid

    CRB,

    Apologies for my statement don’t mean to offend corporate officials.

    Believe corporate principles have plans for a Scrambler ‘brand’.

    I support the notion a DUCATI branded ‘Scrambler’ SERIES of cycles could aid vendor sales while extending Bologna’s legacy Globally!

    Time will prove the validity of a Scrambler ‘brand’ …

  • Craig

    Thanks for the response. I think that there is often a misconception about how dealerships, most assuredly Ducati dealerships work. Dealers don’t carry new stock. most of the bikes on a dealers floor will be used or old stock they have purchased at a discount to move on. New models are usually on show but there will not be an exact copy in the back waiting for you to purchase. Some dealers might have a demo bike they will let you ride ( all in the UK do ) but once you make your choice then you will wait for your newly registered machine to arrive from Italy ( or Brazil, if you are in the US and choose some models ). So scramblers are not moving because you don’t see them on the shop floor. Scramblers are moving on pre-orders. Almost all of the stock in a dealer apart from new display models ( which can often have no engine internals ) will be pre-used. That’s what the dealer is hoping to make a killing on, the stuff he took in part-ex.

    Ducati dealers don’t discount new models. They are not allowed to. The retail price is the price. They can discount stock that they own of course but the dealer is acting as a conduit for new units. He’s the middle man between Ducati and the end user and he takes a cut of the deal for that.

    For example. I have some bikes. I know some people. When the 1199R came out I asked my friend who owns my nearest Ducati dealership if I could get a discount for cash. No. So I asked my other friend, the Managing Director of Ducati UK if I could get a discount. No. Ducati do not sell motorcycles to the public. Never have in the modern era. So the answer was a resounding no. I could have all the discount in the world on gear and accessories but not on a new model motorcycle. And if I can’t get a discount from people who have been giving me things for free for years then it’s not happening.

    Dealers have a choice. My friend as I mentioned owns the local Ducati exclusive dealership, he also owns another about 30 miles north, they also sell ( very few) Bimota . 80 miles south he has a kawasaki dealership. My point is that dealers can sell what they like. If their deal is no good they can go elsewhere.

    It just irked me that this article was a backhanded compliment. Ducati are doing just fine and there is no asterisk. Would you tell Ford that their sales sucked because without the new Fusion the figures look bleak? No, of course not. Sales are sales and you can’t remove some to make a statement because you don’t want a company to be doing well.

    What should be seen from this is the recovery in central Europe, especially Spain and Italy. That market was all but over, not just for Ducati but for all manufacturers. Ducati’s resurgence there is finally indicative of financial recovery in Europe. About time.

    As for the sales figures? They are correct to the last one. VAG group are a publicly traded company. making misleading statements to the market would result in serious jail time. Trust me, they are correct and are set to do even bett

  • crshnbrn

    Craig,
    Thank You for the insight as to how Ducati sells motorcycles. I did not know they operated that way and find it interesting. I do find it odd that a dealer would have a “display model” sans internal engine components. With all external components that make up a model present, it would seem like a fairly expensive way to display a model, and that display model can’t be demoed. It leads me to wonder what becomes of a hollow display model when it is no longer needed.
    My initial thought regarding the sales growth percentages was that if few units were sold in a particular market in 2014, then it wouldn’t take that many more units sold in 2015 to be reflected as a significant percentage of growth in sales. I hadn’t considered the economic recovery in Europe, but that is surely a major factor. I’m sure the Scrambler coming in at a lower price point is a major factor in those recovering markets as well.

  • Piglet2010

    Is this the UK model?

    My (not so) local Ducati dealership (MCC in Chicagoland) typically has 2 to 3 of every model (excluding things such as the 1199 Superleggera, which they only get one of) listed as in stock, AND sitting on the showroom floor. And these are not the demo bikes, which are kept in another room with the rental bikes, or used bikes (never titled, with less than 2 miles on the clock), which again have their own separate area. Several of the bikes on the showroom floor will have signs saying “Sold – Please Do Not Touch” – the process (unless the customer wants the bike exactly as is) is to put down a small deposit, then the dealer orders and installs any factory accessories/options that the customer wants before the sale is finalized. Whether they own the new bikes or if they are owned by Ducati USA I do not know.

  • Piglet2010

    So when is the rumored Ducati scooter showing up? And a new Paso sport-tourer?

  • Thanks for the response Craig, and you do bring up a valid point that the Scrambler is replacing the Monster 696/796, which is something I didn’t mention in the story.

    The question though is how many of those 9,000 scramblers would be Monster 696/796 sales, and how many of them are new segment riders? You can only create so many new bikes to fill untapped segments. It’s easy growth. If I was in Bologna, I’d be more concerned with the sales numbers on the new Multi and 1299.

    22% growth is 22% growth. The sole purpose of my asterisk is so that we don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

  • Ducati Kid

    P2010,

    Haven’t a clue, depends on what Germany deems important for future Global sales.

    Despite announcements Bologna is beneath Teutonic control since the 2012 sale.

    Sorry no PASO progeny as Tamburini died in 2014.

    As I remark –

    How much did ‘Panigale’ development cost? The COMPANY!

  • Nick

    I work at a Ducati dealership, New Orleans to be exact, and this is not accurate at all.

  • Craig, I don’t know of a single dealer in the US that operates like that. It much be a UK thing.

  • paulus

    There is an equivalent for the Monster 796… the Monster 821.
    The Scrambler is a stand alone, in this newly revived segment. It will be interesting to see what increase in branded T-shirt, cloth bag and beard grooming products will occur. Whichever way… more bikes in the market, more 2 wheeled brothers/sisters in this world.

  • In the USA, it does cost $11,000 for the “dark” model though…

  • Piglet2010

    Well, I am sure there are some talented motorcycle designers out there that would jump at the chance to design a full bodywork Ducati sport-tourer.

  • paulus

    Sorry to hear that … but it is still a deal. in Thailand it is USD14,500, for the base model. This is the regular market price. The US gets the best of the world’s pricing :(