It looks like Ducati will be moving out of their current headquarters at Borgo Panigale (just outside the old city walls of Bologna), and into a new facility down the road at Perscietana. The new facility will boast nearly 1.8 million square feet, with space included for events and exhibits for customers and visitors, along with a new restaurant and test track.
Ducati’s motivation for the move includes the need for greater efficiency in production and collaboration with the university and regional government. It is not uncommon for Italian companies to have ties to local universities where students are groomed for positions later within the company; as such, a research center is being considered as a possible future addition to the facilities that could be a proving ground for university students looking to join the Desmo terrain.
Despite the rough economy, Ducati has been a diamond in the rough, with positive sales growth during the recession. It looks like the company is pumping some of that money back into its infrastructure to sustain its long-term growth with its short-term success. For anyone who hasn’t visited the Ducati factory this should mean a much needed change in Ducati’s capabilities, as well as its look and feel. In many areas the current factory probably looks exactly as it did in the 1970′s, there might even be a couple left-over parts from one of Mussolini’s tanks.
The last time we were there, they were retiring a stamping machine from that decade in exchange for some of their first CNC machines. We can only imagine that the new factory will employ the latest business practices and heighten Ducati’s reliability and quality in manufacturing. Hopefully A&R will get itself on the guest list at the new factories unveiling, and we can show you some inside picts of Ducati’s new digs.