Ducati Reaches 50,000 Units Sales Mark for First Time Ever, And Other Red Herrings

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Ducati Motor Holding is reporting that it has sold over 50,000 units to customers, for the first time ever. This is a substantial improvement over the 40,650 units that Ducati delivered at this time last year, and the 45,100 units the company sold to customers in 2015.

This news is a bit of a red herring though, as the sales increase comes due almost solely because of the addition of the Ducati Scrambler line, which in the first three quarters of the year was at 13,609 units sold.

As we have reported before on Asphalt & Rubber, the sales increase being posted by Ducati is a bit of red herring with the brand. While the Scrambler line has shown strong growth for Ducati, the rest of the model lines have been weak for the year.

For instance, sales for the Ducati Multistrada 1200, Ducati Hypermotard 821, and Ducati Hyperstrada showed only nominal growth for the first three quarters (the most current sales data being posted by Audi AG), with a gain of 5%.

Meanwhile the “naked” and “sport” categories for the brand have posted a decrease in sales so far this year of -24% and -7.5%, respectively.

These numbers show that Asphalt & Rubber‘s initial impression was correct, that the Ducati 1299 Panigale and Ducati Multistrada 1200 models were not selling well, despite being new models for the 2015 model year.

While Ducati’s sales increase is an important milestone for the brand, it shows that the company is growing only through line extension, an ultimately unsustainable form of growth, and not product popularity which would provide more long-term stability.

The importance of this analysis is of course that eventually Ducati will run out of segments to expand into, which is why the growth is unsustainable. It should also be noted that the Scrambler is a low-margin machine for Ducati, meaning its sales growth won’t exactly translate to growth on the annual income statement.

Ducati’s hope of course is that Ducati Scrambler buyers will one day become owners of another Ducati model – the Scrambler serving as a sort of loss-leader for the Italian brand.

Time will tell how it all pans out, but we hope Ducati has some intriguing vehicles for 2016 waiting for us at the EICMA show.

Source: Ducati & Audi AG