As more quarterly reports come in, we continue to see the trend that the global motorcycle industry is down by double digits for the year, and today’s numbers from Ducati Motor Holding continue to show that trend.
Reporting a 24.2% drop in sales worldwide for the first half of 2020, we also learn that Ducati sales were down 24.6% for Q2 2020.
While those numbers are nearly identical, diving into the model segments and quarterly results provides some intriguing data.
The table below shows Ducati’s Q1 sales figures, as they were reported from Audi’s first-quarter financial report, and it also includes the numbers from Audi’s financial report on the first-half of 2020.
From those two reports, we can do some basic subtraction and pull-out the unreleased worldwide sales figures for Q2 2020, and then for all three sets of numbers, compare them to the sales figures from 2019.
|Q1 2020||Q1 Δ||Q2 2020||Q2 Δ||1st Half 2020||1st Half Δ|
|Dual / Hyper||2,894||-30.11%||3,602||-43.36%||6,496||-38.14%|
As we can see, starting the year Ducati’s sales were already struggling in the first three months of the year, but that didn’t apply to all of the brand’s bikes.
In fact, the “Sport” segment, which includes the Ducati SuperSport, Panigale V4, and Panigale V2 models was steady for the year, which during a time marred by a pandemic, is a close to a sales win as you will see on a worldwide level.
This bucking of the trend is likely helped by the release of the Panigale V2 (which improved upon the Panigale 959 in just about every way), and the updated Panigale V4 (which has been a hot-seller for the Italian brand since its debut).
Moving to Q2, we see the “Sport” models correcting towards a sales trend that is more in line with the brand as a whole, but we see a new outlier in the “Naked” segment.
Including machines from the Monster, Diavel, and Streetfighter monikers, the “Naked” family was surely helped by the release of the Streetfighter V4, which happened in April. Word from US dealers is that they can barely keep the bikes on the showroom floors, which shouldn’t be surprising.
Moving on, if all of these interpretations are the positives to be found in Ducati’s worldwide sales figures, then one of the negatives has to be the brand’s Dual/Hyper sales performance.
As we have explained for our A&R Pro readers, the off-road sector in the United States (still one of Ducati’s most important markets) has been red hot, with dirt bike sales showing strong gains; along with dual-sport machines, which have been less affected by the national sales downturn. And yet for Ducati, this is the company’s worst segment of machines.
That might not be too surprising though, considering that the newest model in the lineup is the hyper-niche Hypermotard 950, which is now a model year old, and the rest of the lineup includes the aging Multistrada 1260 and 950 models.
With Ducati planning to bring a Multistrada V4 later year, and making no secret about it, 2020 was always going to be a tough year for sales on the v-twin Multistrada 1260 models.
Add into the mix that the high-priced Multistrada 950 S has been an under-performer for the brand, largely due to its high price tag and negligible benefits over its bigger sibling (there is 17 lbs difference between the 950 and 1260, for instance).
All told, even with a shockingly large 24% sales reductions for the year so far, Ducati is weathering the storm about as well as any other. KTM is down a massive 33% (which led to the Austrian’s padding their numbers with e-bike sales in the hope that no one would notice), while Harley-Davidson is reporting their worldwide sales have tumbled 23% for the first six months of the year.
The question now is what will the rest of the year look like for Ducati and the other premium motorcycle marques?
There is some evidence to be seen that as economies reopen, and lives return closer to something called normal, that some of the lost sales will be coming back to the brands, as some “lost” purchases were merely delayed as dealers were closed.
There is also evidence though that as economic programs used to lessen the effect of the coronavirus outbreak come to their end, the props holding up some of the sales resurgences will go away, and thus the full economic brunt of the pandemic is about to be felt, which could send consumer spending (and thus motorcycle purchases) plummeting.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see where this all goes. We’ll see you again, in three months.
Source: Audi AG