Amidst all the fanfare over seeing Valentino Rossi wearing Rosso Corsa and sporting his new Dainese leathers, which surprisingly aren’t being sponsored by McDonald’s, one announcement has gotten little attention (and no, we’re not talking about Nicky Hayden). The 2011 Wrooom event signals the end of a three-year strategic plan that’s been going on internally at Ducati, which has seen the Italian company release 12 new models, increase sales across the board, and ship 36,200 motorcycles in 2010 alone.
Adopted in January 2008, Ducati’s three-year plan saw the company expand from being a Superbike oriented company, and move into other street segments. Starting with the Hypermotard, Ducati’s shining achievement this past three years has been the release of the new Multistrada 1200.
Selling 8,887 units worldwide (7,200 registered) with only eight months of availability in 2010, the MTS 1200 accounts for 14.3% of all bikes sold in its market segment last year. Due in part to the success of the Multistrada 1200, Ducati has increased its global market share to 8.6% (15% share in Italy), while increasing worldwide sales in 2010 by 5% (sales in North America and Far-East were up 64%).
Now striking a new three-years strategic plan in 2011, Ducati plans on continuing its growth not only in established markets, but also in emerging markets. While we can expect to see the company open up dealerships and distribution networks in rapidly growing countries (read: Asia & South America), it also remains clear that we’ll see Ducati continue to push the boundaries of suitable motorcycle segments for its brand, a point that can be seen already in the recently released Ducati Diavel power cruiser.
Already seeing the push-back from Ducatisti from the launches of the Hypermotard, Multistrada 1200, and Diavel, Ducati will not only have to balance its core brand identity with these new market segments if it doesn’t want to alienate its core riders, but also preserve its Italian heritage as it pushes itself farther across the map and becomes influenced by the pressures of globalization.