As expected from earlier sales reports, Ducati Motor Holding is posting a banner year for 2015. The Italian motorcycle maker says that it sold 54,800 bikes last year, a 9,683 unit (+22%) increase over the number of bikes sold in 2014.
Helping break the 50,000 units barrier, the Ducati Scrambler line accounted for virtually all of Ducati’s sales growth in 2015, with over 16,000 Scrambler models sold worldwide. As we have reported before, this paints an interesting picture of what is going on behind Borgo Panigale’s walls.
“The record sales of 2015 are the result of our company’s courage and skill,” said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding.
“Ducati closes 2015 with record volumes and also a substantial growth of 22% over 2014. During the year Ducati not only launched successful new motorcycles, but also a new brand, Ducati Scrambler, which immediately won global acclaim with over 16,000 sales worldwide.”
At a national level, we already saw the report that Ducati was on track for strong growth in the USA last year. Ducati now reports that Ducati grew by 14% in the USA for 2015. In Europe though, sales were even stronger, with the Italian market up 53%, the UK up 37%, Germany up 24%, and France up 22%.
Italy now accounts for only 12% of Ducati’s total sales, the second largest market for Ducati (the USA being Ducati’s #1 market). Italy is followed by Germany, France, and the UK in total volume of bikes sold.
The Asian Pacific market, as Ducati calls it, was up 14% in 2015, showing strong growth for the brand in those emerging economies. Sales in China were up 46% though that number is a little deceiving as Ducati sales in that country have never been particularly strong, nor plentiful.
Beyond the headlines and the spin though, there is a very interesting story to be found in Ducati’s annual sales report. We are still waiting for Audi AG to release its official annual report, but its interim annual report and third-quarter reports confirm the fact that Ducati’s other model lines did not sell well in 2015.
Ducati reports that in 2015 over 8,000 units were sold of the Multistrada 1200 and 6,500 units of the Monster 821, followed by the 1299 Panigale, 899 Panigale, and the Diavel.
For a more accurate assessment of these lines though, we must look at Audi AG’s third quarter reports from 2014 & 2015, which give us a nine-month side-by-side look at Ducati’s sales – not an ideal assessment for outright numbers, but one that is relevant to determine trend.
In the first three quarters of 2014, 19,999 “nakeds” (Monster, Streetfighter, & Diavel) were sold, 9,446 “dual-sports” (Hypermotard, Hyperstrada, & Multistrada) bikes were sold, and 8,049 “superbike” were sold.
Compare that to the first three quarters of 2015, which saw the sale of 15,096 nakeds (-24%), 9,953 dual-sports (+5%), 7,447 superbikes (-7%). Combined, these non-Scrambler models saw a sales drop of 13% in the first nine months of 2015. We can surmise that the same trend continued through 2015’s final quarter.
Whether those model lines are a victim of Ducati focusing the bulk of its marketing efforts on the Scrambler line, or something larger that is going on at Ducati Motor Holding, probably only the folks in Bologna know.
It is worth noting, however, that Cristiano Silei, Ducati’s former VP of Sales and Marketing, left Ducati in March 2015. He is now the CEO of Dainese S.p.A.
The advantage of Audi AG acquiring Ducati, through Lamborghini we should point out, is that the Italian brand’s sales and financials are available for more public scrutiny. As such, it will be interesting to see the numbers for the entire year of 2015, once Audi makes its annual report available.
Source: Audi AG & Ducati Motor Holding