Shake-Up at Ducati North America

07/09/2010 @ 6:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

UPDATE 2: Michael Lock has officially announced that he will be leaving Ducati North America.

UPDATE: John Paolo Canton, Ducati PR Manager, has responded in the comments that Lock was last spotted slaving away in his office, and it’s business as usual in Ducati North America.

With all the commotion going on today, our last piece of breaking news is the developing shake-up that’s going on at Ducati North America. Presumably involving the departure of Ducati North America CEO Michael Lock, we’ve been told changes at Ducati N.A. are occurring at the highest levels. All day we’ve been unable to reach anyone at Ducati’s Cupertino office, so we cannot confirm the report at this time…hey guys, pick up your phones!

If true, Ducati will be losing one of the more successful and controversial personalities in the motorcycle industry. Lock was responsible for turning around Triumph’s North American operations, which saw the company leverage its British heritage and cult following into a strong sales turnaround.

A forceful marketing-oriented CEO, Lock’s skills fit nicely with Ducati as the Italian brand focused again on making a lifestyle around its Italian racing DNA. Joining the Italian company in 2003, Ducati’s popularity in the US has soared since he joined the company.

A&R has no indication who could be taking over at Ducati North America at this time, but our list of guesses is short and distinguished. We also have no word as to where Lock could be headed next, but there are more than a few motorcycle companies in need of his talents. More information as we get it.

  • Mario Barreto

    I have a nice story about Mr. Lock. I had a problem with my Duc down here in Brazil. So, I contacted the Ducati Brazil and tried a solution for almost two months with no success. I sent an email to Mr. Lock on Sunday and less than a half hour after I pressed the send key I received an answer from him, directly from his iPhone. He solved my request. Amazing.
    I hope all the best to him, a realy nice and competent professional.

  • BikePilot

    That is an amazing story Mr. Barreto!

    I wonder if Ducati could use a smart law, econ and business guy. Its worked for them before ;)

  • eze1976

    I bet its Rossi

  • Tom

    UNlike a certain AMerican company, Ducati has the goods to backup its marketing.

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  • Hi Jenson,

    As the PR Manager and Spokesman for Ducati North America, I was a bit surprised to see this thread. Give me a call next time!

    Just to straighten the story for you guys, when I left work this tonight Mr. Lock was still in charge and business proceeding as usual. If anything to the contrary occurs, I’ll let you know.

    -John Paolo Canton
    Ducati Press Department

  • BikePilot

    Good to hear Mr. Lock is still there, he seems to be doing an excellent job with an amazing company!

    Based off this bit, “All day we’ve been unable to reach anyone at Ducati’s Cupertino office, so we cannot confirm the report at this time…hey guys, pick up your phones!”, maybe y’all should answer the phones next time :)

  • RSVDan

    Hey Piaggio! Are you hearing this?

  • lalaland

    Who do I have to kill to get a 917 built? The 848 is as useless as a Porsche Boxter. If the 848 were stroked back to it’s proper displacement, and then clothed in some very sexy retro fairings, I could get into it. Ducati have already revisited many successful themes, how much longer until they stop ignoring the obvious?

    The 916 deserves a new life with a reliable engine. The Ducatisti deserve it as well.

    Which theme would you rather base the baby SBK off of: The 1198 (great bike) or the 916 (ubiquitous motorcycle icon)? Why am I even asking this question? The children you’re hoping to attract with fresh looks can’t even afford your bikes anyway.

    Shake it up, Michael. I mean that as encouragement. Bologna is missing something.

  • eze1976

    yeah, build more baby boomer bikes, that a novel idea…

  • BikePilot

    You can get the displacement you want with an even bigger bore I do believe. I suspect the 848cc displacement is what it is in order to make it legal in supersport racing. A 917cc bike would race with the 1200cc twins would it not?

    As a street bike, I can see some attraction to a punched up, modernized 916, but in all honesty, I’d buy a 1189 even if that were available. The most modern of the 916 era bike, the 998, is the same as far as aesthetics and has a very respectable and reasonably reliable motor. Plenty are available used for far less than a new one could be built. The 916 era machine was truly exceptional, but a company has to move forward and can’t just do one good thing then rest on it for two decades.

  • BikePilot

    So now, was JP bluffing us or really less aware of Ducati’s impending management changes than A&R? Either way A&R’s on its game!

  • Naw. JPC is legit.

  • Thanks Jenson! Unfortunately I only found out last night. There is a famous phrase in corporate communications, which is “the PR guy is usually the last to know!”

  • DucatiSF

    John – Does this mean you can tell us when the Ducati 796 (with ABS) will hit the USA?

    The dealers all seem to have a different answer, anywhere from next week to next year, but they are taking orders for them. The 796 is available today, thus I would think the ABS version would not be too far behind…

    Any info is appreciated!

  • Hi there- the 796 ABS will hit our docks in New Jersey next month.

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